RELEASE: Sprint "Powers Up" Largest Mobile Broadband Network; unveils Rev. A card w/ GPS
Sprint "Powers Up" Largest Mobile Broadband Network with More Upgraded Markets, Faster Speeds, New Device and Integrated GPS Capabilities EV-DO Revision A Coverage Kicks Off in South Florida, Portland, Ore. and Puerto Rico Sprint Boosts the Average Data Speeds Customers Can Expect Express Card Coming in February First Revision A Connection Card with GPS Capability Now Available OVERLAND PARK, Kan. --Beginning today, Sprint (NYSE: S - News) customers in South Florida, Portland, Ore. and Puerto Rico join the more than 95 million people in 21 other major markets who enjoy the upgraded Sprint Mobile Broadband Network which provides users faster data speeds and the ability to ultimately utilize richer applications and services such as high-speed video telephony, music-on-demand, video messaging and large file uploads. Since it became the first carrier to roll out the upgraded EV-DO Revision A technology in October of last year, Sprint has been continually monitoring customer experience, assessing network performance and optimizing network elements to enhance the performance of the industry's fastest available mobile broadband network, allowing customers to experience even faster data speeds than previously stated. As a result, users in markets with the technology upgrade should experience significantly faster average upload speeds of 350-500 Kbps (compared with 50-70 Kbps of current EV-DO networks) and average download speeds of 600 Kbps-1.4 Mbps (from 400-700 Kbps). "Speed and size aren't just valuable on the football field, they are prized by mobile broadband customers too, and clearly Sprint's upgraded mobile broadband network is the champion when it comes to delivering both," said Kathy Walker, chief network officer for Sprint. "Sprint customers in the upgraded markets can take advantage of the fastest available mobile broadband network to send and receive information at DSL-like speeds while on the go." Device Portfolio And GPS Leadership In addition to its leadership in mobile broadband coverage and speed, Sprint also has the industry leading portfolio of Revision A-capable devices. That portfolio will grow next month when Sprint adds the Merlin EX720 by Novatel Wireless (Nasdaq: NVTL - News), Sprint's first EV-DO Revision A capable ExpressCard(TM). By late February, the EX720 will be available in Sprint sales channels including retail stores and at www.sprint.com and can be purchased for as low as $179.99 with a two-year subscriber agreement and will support both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. The EX720 joins the Novatel Wireless U720 USB device and three PCMCIA Type II Mobile Broadband cards: the Novatel Wireless S720, Sierra Wireless AC595 and Pantech PX-500. Other devices embedded with Sprint's EV-DO Revision A technology include laptops like Sony's VAIO VGN-TXN10 Series and ruggedized stand-alone connectivity devices like Airlink's PinPoint X and Raven X. All of the Sprint EV-DO Revision A-capable devices will also work on the mobile broadband network in areas where the EV-DO Revision A upgrade is not yet available. Sprint customers with the Novatel Wireless U720 and Novatel S720 now have the power to utilize the first Location Based Services (LBS) capability on a Revision A connection card through an enhanced version of the Sprint Connection Manager software. Using the upgraded software, users of these cards (and the EX720 once available) will be able to perform location based searches to find a nearby restaurant, gas station, bank and other points of interest without having to input their current location. When utilized, the software will automatically obtain a location reading using the GPS-Chipset in these Sprint Connection Cards and auto-launch a web browser with one of several online mapping software solutions indicating the location of the device and the search results. More devices with GPS-LBS capability will be added to the portfolio later this year. This basic Sprint location and search usage is included as part of Sprint's flexible data and unlimited data connection card plans. Current users can obtain the software by checking for updates using their current Sprint Connection Manager, or it can be downloaded along with a PDF titled "Sprint Location Services User Guide" from www.sprint.com/downloads. Local market coverage Upgraded EV-DO Revision A coverage in South Florida, Portland and Puerto Rico will initially include major airports, downtown business districts and major transportation corridors where wireless data demand is highest, and expand to cover Sprint's entire market footprint. Following are coverage highlights for each of the newly launched markets. South Florida: Upgraded areas include Miami International Airport, Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, in and around the Miami metropolitan area, most of the Interstate 95/Route 1 corridor from Jupiter to Key Largo, and along Route 27 from Interstate 595 north to South Bay. Portland: Upgraded areas include downtown Portland, Portland International Airport and the Interstate 5 corridor between Portland and Vancouver, WA. Puerto Rico: Upgraded EV-DO Revision A coverage in Puerto Rico covers 40 municipalities including San Juan, Arecibo, Mayaguez, Ponce and Fajardo. Previously, Sprint has announced that the faster mobile broadband network was available in these other markets: Denver, CO Las Vegas, NV Los Angeles, CA Sacramento, CA Salt Lake City New York City Philadelphia, PA San Diego, CA Phoenix, AZ San Francisco, CA Pittsburgh, PA Washington, DC Seattle, WA Detroit, MI Milwaukee, WI Boston, MA Buffalo, NY Hartford, CT Newark/Trenton, NJ Providence, RI Baltimore, MD The Sprint Mobile Broadband Network is the nation's largest mobile broadband network, covering more than 200 million people nationwide in 9,268 communities as well as 878 airports. By 3Q 2007, Sprint's Mobile Broadband network is expected to be completely upgraded to the faster EV-DO Revision A technology. The upgrade, which received the PC Magazine Editors' Choice Award, is expected to further drive Sprint's wireless data leadership as customers will be able to use the upgraded network to utilize applications such as all IP video telephony, high-performance push-to-talk (walkie-talkie service), multi-user video conferencing, real-time gaming and video streaming as they become available. Sprint spent more than $7 billion in capital expenditures in 2006, most of which was invested to enhance its wireless and wireline networks nationwide. This year, Sprint expects to significantly increase this investment, primarily to further enhance its powerful networks. Plans Customers signing a two-year Sprint subscriber agreement may be eligible to receive unlimited data usage for $59.99 per month (no separate voice plan required). Other individual service plans for all mobile broadband devices currently range from $39.99 per month for 40 MB to $79.99 per month for unlimited data usage with a one year subscriber agreement. Rates apply to all Power Vision users and do not change in areas that have been upgraded to EV-DO Revision A. Additional information on the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network, including coverage maps showing current and future coverage, Mobile Broadband service plans, and the latest access devices, can be found at http://powervision.sprint.com/mobilebroadband/. About Sprint Nextel Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks serving 53.1 million customers at the end of 2006; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.