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Sprint EV-DO Rev-A Arrives

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Sprint Nextel has turned on its EVDO Rev A network, and started offering the service in (where else) San Diego, home of Qualcomm and Padres. (Most Qualcomm related technologies make a debut in San Diego.) The company is planning to turn on 20 additional markets by end of 2006, including our fair city of San Francisco.

Sprint is trying to beat Verizon to the punch by rolling out a faster network. The new EV-DO Rev A technology allows peak burst rates of 3.1 megabits per second (downlink) and 1.8 megabits per second (uplink.) But in reality the network can offer average speeds of between 450-to-800 kilobits per second and average upload speeds of 300 to 400 Kbit/s. Since it is Sprint, we will take that with a pinch of salt.

However, those speeds are enough to do some casual voip-ing? I know Andy is already heading out to the store to buy his card. Sprint has benefitted from its wireless data business quite handsomely, and it is now pushing hard to get more users. A poll on our site showed that nearly 36% of 558 GigaOM readers were likely to buy an EVDO Rev A Service from Sprint.

A reader had pointed out that “EVDO Rev. A allows for the foundation for better ReadyLink PTT and QChat. I am betting that there is Rev. A in some towers near Qualcomm in San Diego right now.” Spot on! QChat is Qualcomm push-to-talk technology Sprint just adopted for future PTT efforts.

Given how accurate our readers have been in making predictions, one can imagine Sprint is onto something. A Broadband USB Modem by Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 should get you connected and cost $250. However, sign a 2-year-deal and you could get the same card for $50.

This could be potentially good news for MacBook owners, who have to connect to a phone to get broadband access for now. Other Rev A cards include the Pantech PX-500, Sierra Wireless Aircard 595 and the Novatel Wireless S720.

11 Responses to “Sprint EV-DO Rev-A Arrives”

  1. Does Sprint run Rev A in Sacramento, CA?

    For Sacramento, who has the best speed / service, Verizon or Sprint?

    Each at this point are $59/mo. – 2yr. agreement.

    Thanks – Kent

  2. I just purchased the Spring PCS USB Broadband adapter and I have never had a worse piece of equipment. Its bulky, hangs down from the computer, and I have never reached even the average download speed of 400-800k. Even on a private FTP server and numerous bandwidth meters.

    I live in Waco and work in Dallas which are both part of the EVDO network. I had to think that Dallas, being one of the largest cities in the country, could not reach the average speeds. I have even attempted it at 2am to see if maybe it was due to network congestion.

    Fact is, the network is slow, customer service is outsourced overseas, and the hardware might as well come from Toys R Us.

    I’ve had this device for a bit over a week and I will be returning it tomorrow. Cingular may not have so called broadband speeds in every network, but they offer better average speeds, and faster dns lookup than Sprint.

  3. EVDO Rev A is live in Milwaukee. Downtown I saw DL speeds of 1Mbps and UL speeds of 400kbps with average round trip delay of 100-200ms. Out near Pewaukee with a weaker signal at 86dbi I had 450kbps DL and 400kbps UL. Very respectable performance. The delay improvement alone blows EVDO Rev 0 away.

  4. Comment to Dave:
    – The improvements in Rev A are in: upload speed (big enough for voip and other applications now)
    – QOS i.e. latency (as I recall)

    Download got a bit better, but this wasn’t the main advantage.

    Main question from me is – does Sprint allow VoIP traffic on their network? Are all ports open. I’m on Cingular, and it seems like only HTTP and HTTPS work.

  5. Kanti Purohit

    Does anyone know a guide hat shows how to use Sprint service with ahome networking set up – much like cable or DSL service?

    I would like to dump my cable and get Sprint EV-DO.


  6. “Average download speeds should also increase to 450–800 kbps from 400-700 kbps.”

    wow! what a whopper increase…are they kidding> this is where the billions are going? 10ish percent increases?