Blog Post

Rev A Showdown, Sprint vs Verizon

Just when you thought that old skool EVDO was fast, Sprint and Verizon are both rushing to light up their EVDO Rev A networks across the U.S.

So far Sprint leads by just a margin in time to market and we briefly wrote about Sprint’s 10-city launch of its EVDO Rev A network yesterday. Customers in major cities like San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles will be able to get average upload speeds of 300-400 kbps (compared with 50-70 kbps of current EV-DO networks) and an average download speed of 450800 kbps.

But Verizon Wireless isn’t wasting any time either. Engadget runs a rumor that says Verizon will launch its own Rev A upgrade on Friday in 10 markets too, including Sacramento and Salt Lake City. We talked to Verizon Wireless this morning and they said that the network has actually been live for a few months in a number of markets:

We’ve had a number of communities lit up with Rev. A for a few months, and expect to introduce a first PC card in the coming weeks. We won’t be announcing a launch of Rev. A until we hit a significant number of markets up and running, though. — Verizon Wireless, Jeffrey Nelson

Nelson wouldn’t comment on where the Rev A network is live and how fast the service is. Still, this is going to be an interesting battle for broadband subscribers. For now, Sprint is cheaper.

14 Responses to “Rev A Showdown, Sprint vs Verizon”

  1. johnny b.s.

    Do you have a clue what you are talking about? Cingular’s data cards are not faster than Sprint or Verizon! They are lucky if they are on 2.5G when others are working on WiMax, not sure if you have heard of that? 5x faster than broadband at home!

  2. The interesting story is the Sprint and VZW race in that Sprint projected 40M Rev A POPS by the end of 06 and they just announced 60M (12/12). VZW will have to come close. They’re waiting for a nice critical mass to surprise the market. More coverage = more marketing blitz and bragging rights.

  3. Jesse,

    Cingular DOES have a 3G network active now in almost all major market areas. I run an IT Services company and have both Verizon and Cingular deployed for my technicians for remote support and other applications. They are both good products. In the West Palm Beach market I routinely get +-700Kbps down and +-100Kbps up on Verison. On the new Cingular 3G network (HSDPA) I get 1.3Mbps down and 300Kbps up. The biggest difference between the two in my opninion is customer service and ultimate expandablility of the network. Cingular has the current lead in speed but their customer service is horrible. I had to go through a VP in the company to get my IP addressed exposed to the public internet so my mobile servers would work with a wireless HSDPA router. Verizon by default allows you to receive incoming IP traffic so it is a non-issue. That being said, Cingular is a LOT faster and in the coming quarter they are raising the base transmission speed from 1.8Mbps to 7.2Mbps. The maximum speed of HSDPA is 14.4 currently, so there is even more room to grow on the current platform. Verizon and Sprint need to do more than just a Rev.A upgrade if they want to compete in a bandwidth hungry world. EV-DO’s theoretical maximum of 3.6Mbps (Rev.A) isn’t going to cut it for long.

  4. Jesse Kopelman

    Until Cingular roles out HSUPA, EVDO Rev A carriers like Sprint and Verizon will kick their ass in uploads. If you do things like sending e-mail with attachments, you want the better upload performance. This is a rapidly changing field as every year for the next 3 carriers will be rolling out netowrk upgrades to leapfrog each other, many of them requiring new subscriber devices to get the benefit. Unless you don’t care about price or don’t mind haggling over contract extensions, I’d just pick the carrier who has the best overall coverage in the places you go and forget about trying to stay on the cutting edge of technology.

  5. chickadee

    Cingular is in a lot of markets, but last I looked, if you’re in Denver or anywhere on Colorado’s Front Range, you’ll have to stick with EV-DO from Sprint or Verizon. Cingular still doesn’t have 3G in that neck of the woods, or a lot of other markets for that matter.

  6. Bill Ferrante

    A month or 2 ago I noticed a nice change in the time it takes to connect and the download speed on my ev-do Verizon connection in Orlando. Not certain that we’ve got rev-a, but it sure does feel like something changed for the better.

  7. Jesse Kopelman

    SlashChick, you should always check to see if you can get a discount on a new device if you do an early renewal on your contract (i.e. the 2-year clock starts anew). Always be willing to threaten to break your contract. The retail price for a Rev A cards is $200 – $250 . . .

  8. Damn, and I just bought a Sprint Power Vision card. Oh well…good thing I only spent $45 on it. Unfortunately, that means I’m already locked in to my 2-year agreement, and will have to buy a new card at retail. Argh!