Sprint’s EV-DO “Rev-A-lution” continues


Novatelu720If you’ve been waiting for the faster mobile upload speeds promised by EV-DO Rev. A, Sprint has you covered starting today in 10 new markets. Well, that’s provided you’re in one of the 10 coverage areas, but why nit-pick? The following metropolitan areas are now supporting the newest CDMA mobile broadband network (with full details following after the jump):

  • Baltimore
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Los Angeles
  • New Jersey (hey, that’s a state!)
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Providence
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Washington, D.C

Of course, you’ll need a device with an EV-DO Rev. A capable modem and Sprint is happy to offer the Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 USB modem for around $50 with a two-year contract; perfect for a UMPC. If a PC Card is more your style and you’ve got the slot for it, you can also purchase a Novatel S720, Sierra AC595 or Pantech PX-500.

Most of the benefit is in the upload speed; instead of 50-70 kbps EV-DO Rev. 0 speeds, you’ll be filling up the Inter-tubes at an average of 300-400 kbps. Download speeds on the newer network also increase but only around 10% to 15%. If you stray from one of the current coverage areas, Sprint has your back with EV-DO Rev. 0 or 1xRTT in a worst case situation.

Full details of coverage areas:

Baltimore: Coverage includes Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport, downtown Baltimore and the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington, DC to Aberdeen.

Denver: Denver International Airport, downtown Denver and parts of Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and Greeley are covered.

Detroit: Coverage includes Detroit Metropolitan Airport, downtown Detroit and most of the metropolitan area from Monroe in the south, to Port Huron in the north and Ann Arbor to the west, as well as parts of Lansing, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.

Los Angeles: Coverage includes Los Angeles International Airport, downtown Los Angeles and in and around Irvine, Santa Ana (including John Wayne Airport), Palm Springs (including Palm Springs International Airport), Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Ontario and Oceanside.

New Jersey: Coverage includes Newark International Airport, downtown Newark and Trenton. Most of the Philadelphia and New York City suburbs, Interstate 95 corridor, Atlantic City and the New Jersey shore are also covered.

New York: LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports, midtown and lower Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and portions of Long Island (including Nassau County) are covered.

Philadelphia: Philadelphia International Airport and downtown Philadelphia are covered. Coverage also extends south along Interstate 95 to Newark, DE and is available in and around Norristown, Allentown, Bethlehem, Lancaster and Reading.

Providence: Coverage includes T.F. Green Airport, from downtown Providence to Woonsocket along Route 146, and the Interstate 95 corridor between Attleboro and Warwick.

San Francisco Bay Area: San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport and San Jose International Airport as well as the downtown areas of those cities are covered. Coverage extends along US-101 from San Francisco to Gilroy, and along Interstate-880 from Oakland through San Jose. Additionally, portions of all nine Bay Area Counties, as well as portions of Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties have Rev A coverage.

Washington, D.C: Ronald Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport and downtown Washington, DC are covered. Coverage extends west on Route 7to Leesburg, Va., south on most of the Interstate 95 corridor to Stafford, Va. and east on Route 50 to Annapolis. Most of the area along Interstate 270 to Frederick, Md., in and around Salisbury Md. and along the Delaware shore south of Lewes is also covered.


Alan A. Reiter

I just received a Sierra Wireless AirCard to test Sprint’s Rev. A upgrade. (I’m a wireless data consultant so I have this as an evaluation unit for a few weeks.)

I’m using a year-old IBM/Lenovo Tablet PC with Windows XP and 1.5GB of RAM.

Here in Chevy Chase, Md. (about a mile north of northwest Washington, D.C.), I’m finding that Rev. A downloads are in the 500sKbps – low 700sKbps. They vary widely, however (mostly somewhat slower).

The Rev. A downloads don’t seem much different than Rev. 0. That might be normal because Rev. A isn’t supposed to be much faster for downloads. But I haven’t found any significant difference between the download rates of Rev. A and Rev. 0, and I probably should see a small, but consistent increase in the speed of A compared to 0.

Uploads, however, are ** dramatically ** faster than Rev. 0. I’m getting data rates of 400sKbps – high 500sKbps. Yes, there are wide variations, but the upload speeds are consistently and significantly higher than Rev. 0.

When using a Sprint LG Fusic Rev. 0 phone connected to my Tablet PC via a cable, I get upload data rates in the 120sKbps – 130sKbps — and that’s pretty normal for Rev. 0. (Yes, I know, using a phone + cable compared to a PC Card isn’t an exact comparison. But I don’t have a Sprint Rev. 0 PC Card.)

Perhaps Sprint needs to tweak the Rev. A download speeds a bit, at least in my area, to boost them.

I tested the data rates using multiple sites listed on DSL Reports (East and West Coasts) as well as using speedtest.net.

Interestingly, speedtest.net was the only site to NOT register any increase in the Rev. A upload speeds; they were about the same as measured for Rev. 0. All the sites on DSL Reports showed the much higher upload data rates, so I am assuming that there might be a problem with speedtest.

Also, a first set of tests I conducted were with the software supplied on Sprint’s CD. I then checked for a software upgrade, and there was indeed a more recent version. This recent version made a significant difference in the data rates. Both the upload and download speeds are faster.

I realize my tests are relatively unscientific, but I think they might be relatively accurate.

Anyone have a more accurate way to test data rates?

Bobby Chapman

I’m not sure why we repeatedly release devices without wider area coverage, but the devices themselves tend to work exceptionally well for those that can actually use them.
-Bobby Chapman
unofficial comment from a Sprint Employee(CRC)

Kevin C. Tofel

That card won’t work with most 3G data cards because it’s only a 16-bit card. The product description states: “Note that this is only for use with PCMCIA memory card and hard disk card devices. It is not designed for use with wireless data or GSM/GPRS cards.” I personally don’t need a PC Card slot in my UMPC, but other folks could definitely use it. I also think that PC Card modems are on the way out in favor of USB and ExpressCard. Thanks!


Sigh. How did they manage to bypass the nation’s 3rd largest market, Chicago, AGAIN…



The Los Angeles coverage totally omits the San Fernando Valley, so I definitely don’t see any rush on this…

Dave Zatz

The area they describe for DC is huge – it’s really well beyond the metropolitan areas and out to the exurbs (and further in some cases). Nice!

Though the two year contracts all these guys want it most definitely NOT nice. I don’t like commitment.

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