Sprint rolls out EV-DO

Sprint announced Thursday it is rolling out its EV-DO wireless high-speed data service in 34 markets this month.

Sprint first announced its EV-DO service plans just over a year ago. The carrier says its EV-DO service will be available in at least 60 metropolitan markets by early 2006 reaching 150 million people.

Verizon Wireless last year became the first wireless service provider to make EV-DO services available. The carrier's BroadbandAccess EV-DO service is available in 50 markets today, supporting transmission speeds between 400K bit/sec and 700K bit/sec. Verizon Wireless says its BroadbandAccess service will be available to more than half of the US population by year-end.

Sprint says its EV-DO service also supports wireless data transmissions between 400K bit/sec and 700K bit/sec and can burst up to 2M bit/sec.

Sprint's consumer pricing plans start at US$40 (AU$54) per month. The carrier is offering unlimited service for business users, starting at US$80 per month. Users that sign up for these services will have the option of using Sprint's 1xRTT CDMA wireless network when they are roaming in areas where EV-DO is not yet available.

Customers will also be required to purchase an AirCard PC Card that costs US$250.

Verizon's BroadbandAccess service is available for US$80 per month for unlimited access.

Sprint says it will announce additional EV-DO applications and hardware options in the fourth quarter.