Sprint to Add PCS to ION

SAN MATEO (01/28/2000) - SPRINT NEXT MONTH will bring together two of its most strategic initiatives of the last decade when it links its wireless PCS (Personal Communications Service) to Integrated On-Demand Network (ION), Sprint's ATM-based converged network services backbone.

By moving PCS access to ION, Sprint is looking to transcend the limitations of existing PCS technology by using the ION backbone to share and access data.

Several company officials confirmed the intent to link PCS and ION but declined to give details.

In theory, however, the marriage could allow a laptop user seeking to share data with a remote user to first transfer it wirelessly to a local ION connection, and then over the ATM backbone -- guaranteeing quality of service to the remote user, said sources close to Sprint.

"They are talking about using the PCS network as a possible method of access to ION," said Melanie Posey, an analyst at International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass.

But Posey said that plugging PCS into ION would likely offer only a limited set of applications, such as remote retail inventorying.

For Sprint, bringing PCS onto ION could help it demonstrate the flexibility of ION, which is capable of supporting a variety of broadband services, including DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) and fiber-optic links to the home, sources noted.

Sprint Corp., in Kansas City, Mo., is at www.sprint.com.

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