Sprint Nextel first to use faster broadband network

Sprint Nextel is upgrading one of its cell phone models so that it can connect to a faster data network, doubling its download speeds and boosting upload speeds by about eight times, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said both Sprint and Verizon Wireless operate so-called EV-DO Rev. A networks, but have used them only for laptop cards.

Their fastest phones have used the older and slower EV-DO Rev. 0 network.

The report said Sprint was releasing a software update for the Mogul phone, made by HTC of Taiwan, that will enable the phone to connect at Rev. A speeds. Downloads speeds should be 600 kilobits per second to 1,400 kbps, up from a range of 400 kbps to 700 kbps with Rev. 0. It will be capable of uploads of 350 to 500 kbps, up from 50 kbps to 70 kbps.

Sprint said its broadband network now covers 234 million people, and the vast majority of it has been upgraded to EV-DO Rev. A, short for Evolution-Data Optimized Revision A.

The Mogul is a smart phone that runs Windows Mobile software and can be used as a modem for a laptop. It costs $199.99 with a two-year contract and went on sale in June. The software update will be available immediately from HTC's site.

Verizon Wireless has not announced a phone using Rev. A.

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