Sprint: Unlimited plan won't tax network capacity

Speaking at a Bear Stearns media conference this morning in Florida, Sprint's Chief Network Officer Kathy Walker said that the firm's new Simply Everything plan that offers unlimited voice and data for $99 per month will not impact network capacity. She said that last year the company tested unlimited plans in some markets and looked at the network utilization and found they didn't need additional capacity. "Inside my network I worry less about total utilization of a customer and more about when they use it and where they use it," Walker told investors.

She also said that the Simply Everything plan is geared toward smart phone users. Where the company has seen the biggest growth in data is with subscribers who use data cards. For those that sign up for the Simply Everything plan and use smart phones, the company doesn't expect to see as much growth in data usage as they do with the data card users, she said.

Regarding Sprint's long-awaited QChat service, a push-to-talk offering over Sprint's EVDO Rev. A network, Walker said that it will probably debut in second quarter rather than first quarter. She said the company is making sure that QChat performs at the same level as iDEN Direct Connect. -Sue  

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