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  1.    #1  
    Sprint begins high-speed mobile services

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sprint Corp. (NYSE:FON - news) on Thursday said it began selling high-speed wireless services to laptop computer users, betting that the fast-growing market for mobile data will offset falling phone call prices.

    Sprint follows Verizon Wireless into the market to enable customers to use the fast cellular links to their laptops to read e-mails and surf the Web while on the go.

    Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ - news) and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L), was the first mobile operator to introduce broadband cellular Internet services for laptops more than a year-and-a-half ago when it launched its Internet service in two markets.

    Sprint, which is seeking government approval to buy Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:NXTL - news), said monthly service fees would start at $40 for downloads of up to 40 megabytes of data -- the equivalent of about 10 to 20 digital song downloads. Its $80-a-month price for unlimited use is in line with Verizon's charges.

    Ovum analyst Roger Entner said Verizon, which launched high-speed handset services in February, has a head start but that the companies should have similar coverage by next year.

    "By next year it really becomes a question of who customers like better," Entner said.

    The two U.S. companies, along with most large operators around the world, are upgrading their networks in a bet that data services can boost their revenue even as the price of mobile phone calls declines amid steep competition.

    Sprint plans to sell the service in business districts and airports in 34 markets in July. It expects to have coverage for 143 million people by the fourth quarter and 150 million people -- or roughly half the U.S. population -- in early 2006.

    Verizon Wireless, the country's second-biggest wireless provider, already has services in about 50 markets covering about one-third of the U.S. population using the same high-speed technology, known as EV-DO.

    Verizon plans coverage for 150 million potential customers by the end of 2005. Cingular Wireless, a venture of SBC Communications (NYSE:SBC - news) and BellSouth Corp. (NYSE:BLS - news), plans to have high-speed services in about 15 to 20 markets by year end.

    Sprint plans to sell new handsets and applications based on the higher-speed network by the end of the fourth quarter. It already has agreements to sell laptop cards from Novatel Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq:NVTL - news) and Sierra Wireless Inc. (Toronto:SW.TO - news).

    Sprint said it expects its latest service to provide Web access average speeds of 400 to 700 kilobits per second, about six times faster than its current network.

    Sprint shares were down 6 cents at $24.95 in afternoon trade on the
    New York Stock Exchange, where Verizon Communications shares were down 15 cents at $34.27
    So the stage is set! When the next generation Treo comes Sprint will have their high-speed service available for us .

    (Edit: cancel the statement below. It's $80, not sure where I got $90 from.)
    The $90 price tag for card users is only $10 higher than their price for the slower wireless speed. So that is a very good sign that the service will not cost much more for handheld customers .
    Last edited by darnell; 07/08/2005 at 12:57 PM.
  2. #2  
    An EVDO Treo might be a challenge. According to this, EVDO chipsets cost $120 and the development license is a whopping $5M.

    http://hacks.wirelessinternetcoverag...topic.php?t=19
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery
  3. #3  
    Keep in mind sprint may foot a huge chunk of the bill for that $5m
  4.    #4  
    Hey, they are Sprint. They'll be sure to get it for less than the "list price" .
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by dutchtrumpet
    Keep in mind sprint may foot a huge chunk of the bill for that $5m
    Good point. Sprint is interested in pushing EVDO, not Palm. Sprint should push (pay) Palm into EVDO because Palm probably would not invest in it on their own.
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by darnell
    The $90 price tag for card users is only $10 higher than their price for the slower wireless speed. So that is a very good sign that the service will not cost much more for handheld customers .
    Where does the 90.00 price tag come from? I have seen this stated in a few different threads, but I only see the 80.00 price on Sprints website & is also what I'm paying.
  7. #7  
    Unlimited is $80/month with rumors it will go to $60. Or you can get 40MB/month for $40 and it will cap at $90/month, basically becoming an unlimited if you need it (for $10 more). The $40/month option is only good for those who will use it sparsely, like checking email once in a while.
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cory J
    Where does the 90.00 price tag come from? I have seen this stated in a few different threads, but I only see the 80.00 price on Sprints website & is also what I'm paying.
    I've made an edit to my original post. Not sure where I got that $90 figure from .

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