Sprint Continues Network Expansion for EVDO & WiMAX

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Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Continued Network Investment in 2007 Lets Customers Do More: Listen To Music, Stay Connected And Get Work Done In More Places With Sprint

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--Sprint customers benefit from wireless network enhancements, innovative products and applications including music, video and location based services

--Upgrades to the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network continue and the roll-out of a WiMAX network nears

Sprint (NYSE: S) has continued its aggressive plans to enhance its networks enabling innovative products and services to be delivered to customers who are doing more with their wireless service at home, at work and virtually anywhere they connect. Expanding its leadership in wireless voice and data services, Sprint expects to invest more than $7 billion in 2007 to enhance its powerful networks and meet the demand for extensive mobile broadband coverage.


"Our customers are busy and want to stay connected with family, friends and the office," said Kathy Walker, chief network officer for Sprint. "We're delivering for them by investing in networks that give customers the power to do what they want and need to do with their wireless service, including downloading music, getting directions, accessing the latest weather report and checking e-mail fast, and on the go."

This year, Sprint expects to upgrade a majority of the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network to faster Evolution - Data Optimized Revision A (EV-DO Rev. A). It will also begin to deploy its next generation broadband wireless network based on WiMAX technology and continue to enhance the Nextel National and Sprint National networks, which are performing at all-time bests, based on internal network performance measurements.

And, during 2006 and 2007, Sprint expects to have invested approximately $1.4 billion in its wireline network. Sprint's Tier 1 Global IP network is a next-generation platform that enables value-added wireline-wireless integration for both the consumer and enterprise segments. The wireline backbone plays a critical role for many Sprint initiatives, including wireless traffic backhaul and the growing cable VoIP business. The company's VoIP offering will serve cable companies that cover 30 million cable households passed by year-end. Of this base, cable companies served by Sprint provide VoIP services to more than 1.7 million cable subscribers.

In addition to the cable telephony offering, IP enables many other core products and services, such as EV-DO Rev. A, and helps facilitate future wireless services, such as a new push-to-talk service, which is expected to allow users to connect with our current 20 million Walkie-Talkie customers on the Nextel National Network. It is also critical to Sprint's plans to mobilize the Internet with WiMAX.

Better Voice Calling Experience
In 2006, Sprint measurements showed double-digit decreases in the percentage of blocked and dropped calls experienced by customers on the Sprint National Network (CDMA). Sprint also earned top honors for the "fewest dropped calls" of any national carrier network as rated by a third-party independent study. To continue this trend and provide customers with increasing quality and reliability from their voice network, Sprint plans to build several thousand new cell sites in 2007 to further improve the Sprint National Network.

Sprint has also greatly improved the performance of the Nextel National Network (iDEN), showing double-digit percent decreases in the rate of blocked and dropped calls throughout 2006. In fact, dropped and blocked call rates surpassed national best-ever levels early in the first quarter of this year. Network availability and call quality have also improved on the Nextel National Network. Sprint is continuing to add cell sites to the Nextel National Network as part of its overall $7 billion capital spending plan.

Sprint remains committed to maintaining the Nextel National Network, which allows Nextel Walkie-Talkie users to connect faster (in less than one second) than customers on other carriers' walkie-talkie networks. The Nextel National Network supports the world's largest walkie-talkie subscriber community. In 2006, Nextel subscribers completed more than 100 billion walkie-talkie calls on the Nextel National Network.

Providing Customers with the Largest Mobile Broadband Network
Sprint continues to lead the way in high-speed mobile broadband. The Sprint Mobile Broadband Network is the nation's largest wireless broadband network, reaching more than 207 million people, 11,000 cities and 1,000 airports across the country. Sprint expects to continue to extend its leadership in mobile broadband coverage and capabilities.

The Sprint Mobile Broadband Network provides customers fast access to e-mail, location based services, and Power VisionSM services, including Sprint TV and the Sprint Music Store - the nation's first over-the-air song-download service that allows customers to preview, purchase and manage music on the go – right from Sprint Power Vision phones. The Sprint Music Store is expected to continue its popularity with full song downloads now priced at 99 cents – the lowest price for over-the-air song downloads in the U.S.

In October 2006, Sprint became the first U.S. carrier to commercially deploy its mobile broadband network with higher-speed EV-DO (Evolution – Data Optimized) Revision (Rev.) A technology. Today, the company reaches more than 197 million people, 9,600 cities and 880 airports with the technology, and expects that a vast majority of its mobile broadband network will be upgraded to faster EV-DO Rev. A by year-end.

EV-DO Rev. A provides users with expected average upload speeds of 350-500 kbps and download speeds of between 600 kbps and 1.4 mbps. The network upgrade enables customers to use richer applications and services as they become available, such as a new push-to-talk feature, wireless VoIP, high-speed video telephony, music on demand, video messaging, and large file uploads.

Internationally recognized surgeon Joseph Petelin, MD, FACS, had this to say about the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network, "Patients' needs come first, and offering service and even diagnosing patients remotely using advanced technology allows me to give patients the timely medical attention they deserve. Accessing the upgraded Sprint Mobile Broadband Network from a variety of work locations is a powerful tool that enables me to get work done in new ways that were previously not possible, including the ability to interact remotely with surgical robotic devices."

Sprint is Leading into the Future - WiMAX
Sprint plans to construct a next generation network based on Mobile WiMAX technical standards. As one of the year's hottest topics in the communications industry, Mobile WiMAX is set to alter the competitive landscape for high-speed multimedia applications. With network infrastructure partners Samsung, Motorola and Nokia, Sprint will begin building an advanced, data-centric mobile broadband network that will be designed to create an "Internet everywhere" experience.

WiMAX is expected to provide Sprint customers with a nationwide mobile data network designed to offer faster speeds, lower costs, greater convenience and more enhanced multimedia quality than anything offered today. Sprint plans to invest up to $800M in 2007 and between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in 2008. Sprint will use its extensive 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings that cover 85 percent of the households in the top 100 U.S. markets to deliver WiMAX to initial markets (Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington, DC) late this year and commercially launch the service in 2Q of next year, providing service coverage to as many as 100 million people by the end of 2008.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 June 2007 )
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