Sprint Launches First EV-DO Revision A-Capable Mobile Broadband Card in the Nation
* Card to support advanced mobile broadband speeds when available in 4Q 2006
* Total mobile broadband footprint to cover 200 million people by year end
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., & SAN DIEGO ó 08/29/2006 Sprint (NYSE: S) and Novatel Wireless, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVTL) today announced commercial availability of the countryís first EV-DO Revision A-capable device - the Novatel Wireless S720 Sprint Mobile Broadband Card. This milestone follows Sprintís recent announcement that it will begin upgrading the Sprint Power Vision(SM) Network -- the nationís largest wireless broadband network currently covering more than 153 million people - to the faster EV-DO Revision A this year.
Designed for operation with compatible laptops as well as the soon-to-be-available Linksys Wireless G-Router for Mobile Broadband, the Merlin S720 will allow customers to connect to the Sprint Power Vision Network and remotely access audio, video and data applications at DSL-like speeds. The card operates on the current Sprint Power Vision Network and will support faster average download and upload speeds (450 -850 kbps and 300 - 400 kbps, respectively) of Sprintís upgraded network when it becomes available. Sprint plans to begin its roll out of EV-DO Revision A during the fourth quarter of 2006 with coverage expected to reach more than 40 million people by year end. Ultimately, Sprint plans to reach more than 200 million people in the United States with mobile broadband data services in 220 major metropolitan areas by the end of 2006.
"Sprint has reached its next leadership milestone in the mobile broadband arena once again delivering on the goals and promises made to our customers earlier this year" said Danny Bowman, vice president of product marketing for Sprint. "With the introduction of the nationís first EV-DO Revision A-capable device today we are ensuring that customers are able to take advantage of the nationís most advanced mobile broadband network to do what they want, when they want and where they want"
"Being first to market with a commercially available EV-DO Revision A-capable connection card underscores our leadership position and continuing commitment to working with Sprint in serving its customers" said Peter Leparulo, CEO of Novatel Wireless. "By delivering innovative, high-quality EV-Rev. A wireless products, Novatel enables Sprint to provide its customers with industry-leading wireless data capabilities"
The Merlin S720 will initially be sold through Sprint indirect and business sales channels and online at www.sprint.com for a suggested retail price of $249.99 and as low as $99.99 with a two-year subscriber agreement. Service plans for the card currently range from $39.99 per month for 40 MB to $79.99 per month for unlimited data usage. Customers signing a two-year subscriber agreement will be eligible to receive unlimited data usage for $59.99 per month (no separate voice plan required). Sprint plans to make a variety of compatible devices in varying form factors available later this year.
Sprint today has the most wireless broadband coverage of any carrier. The Sprint Power Vision(SM) Network now covers more than 153 million people and services customers in 220 major metropolitan areas. Additional information on Sprintís 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 communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering 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.
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