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Sprint Home VoIP/Cellular Handset To Bow In 2nd Half

Discussion in 'Wireless News' started by jrip, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. jrip

    jrip Senior Member
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    Sprint Home VoIP/Cellular Handset To Bow In 2nd Half


    New York -- Sprint Nextel outlined new product and distribution plans here at an investor conference, where it targeted an October launch of its first dual-mode iDEN/CDMA phone and the second-half debut of a Wi-Fi/cellular phone that provides VoIP service through a home Wi-Fi network.

    The integrated Wi-Fi/cellular voice service will be available in seven undisclosed markets this year as part of a joint venture announced last year between the carrier and four of the largest cable operators: Advance/Newhouse, Comcast, Cox and Time-Warner Cable. The phone will handoff calls from the cellular network to a Wi-Fi-enabled broadband cable modem. The service will focus initially on integrated voice services, including integrated home/cellular voice mail and call routing, said COO Len Lauer, but in 2007, the service will expand to include entertainment and contents, including the ability to remotely program a cable company's DVR from the cellular handset, watch cable-TV programs on the handset, and integrate e-mail boxes and data services offered by the cable companies and Sprint Nextel.

    The dual-mode phone will use Nextel's iDEN-network push-to-talk (PTT) technology, but traditional voice and data services will be delivered over Sprint's CDMA 1x and CDMA 1x EV-DO network. Sprint Nextel's Boost prepaid-service division will offer a dual-mode phone in 2007.

    In the wake of the August 2005 merger of Sprint and Nextel, the combined company also outlined plans to reduce its store count by 170 stores to 1,530 by the end of the second quarter and to expand the distribution of Nextel iDEN-network phones this year into more national retail accounts following RadioShack's addition of iDEN phones four months ago. The national accounts, which already sell Sprint's CDMA-network phones, would be able to take advantage of a new activation system to be available mid-year to activate phones on either network, said consumer solutions president Tim Kelly. The rollout of iDEN phones to national accounts was always in the carrier's post-merger plans, Kelly said.

    The stores targeted to close were chosen based on productivity and proximity to other Sprint and Nextel stores

    The carrier also outlined plans to bolster support for the small wireless retailers who formed the backbone of Nextel distribution, in part by emphasizing the Nextel brand more in ads, offering a new co-op advertising program, and stepping up other incentives. Traffic at those stores dropped after the carrier launched its post-merger ad campaign focused on the Sprint name, the company admitted.

    On another distribution-related topic, COO Lauer said "acquisition costs need to get lower and that "acquisition costs are lower on the direct distribution side."

    On products and service topics, executives said Sprint Nextel will:

    * Expand its high-speed EV-DO footprint to cover 187 million people, up from a year-end 2005 level of almost 150 million.

    * Commercially roll out a higher speed EV-DO Rev. A network in the first quarter of 2007, with all of its markets offering Rev. A by the end of 2007. In the first quarter of 2008, the company will launch high-performance push-to-talk service on its Rev. A network and, via a gateway, enable iDEN-network and CDMA-network subscribers to talk to each other via PTT.

    Rev. A enables VoIP over a cellular network, accelerates data download speeds to a theoretical 3.1Mbps from 2.4Mbps, and accelerates upload speeds from 135kbps to 1.8Mbps.

    Sprint will make a second-quarter decision on which of several technologies to use to launch IP-based 4G service over its 98MHz of spectrum in the 2.5GHz band. Sprint 4G networks will be deployed where needed, and calls and data sessions will be handed off from Sprint's 4G network to its 3G EV-DO network. The company will launch 4G service in 2009 in limited markets to meet FCC requirements.

    Service over Sprint's 4G spectrum can be offered "at fairly reasonable retail prices," Lauer noted. CTO Barry West explained the low costs in large part to the sheer amount of spectrum owned by Sprint, lowering the cost to deploy the technology at any given cell site. He also said IP-based equipment will be less expensive to buy because it's based on a widely used standard and because base stations from multiple suppliers will interoperate, spurring greater price competition.

    Sprint said it will become the first carrier to conduct a trial this summer of Qualcomm's MediaFLO technology, which broadcasts multiple channels of live TV to cellphones and other handheld devices over non-cellular frequencies. Sprint, however, already offers TV-over-cellular service and believes the Media FLO and competing DVB-H technology are "not essential to have now," said Oliver Valente, product development senior VP.

    The company will also launch a national ad campaign this year to promote its network improvements, having placed prints ads with the same message in 12 local markets.

    It is developing a Sprint-branded prepaid program, most likely a hybrid prepaid/postpaid program. It is designed to complement its Boost-branded prepaid service and the prepaid service offered by MVNO Virgin Mobile, which it owns in conjunction with Virgin.

    And the carrier will enhance iDEN-network coverage by increasing the number of iDEN cell sites by 20 percent over the next three years, about half of them going online in 2006. The company will support iDEN technology through 2010 and beyond, chief network officer Kathy Walker said.

    Copied and pasted from Howard forums.
     
  2. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Wow! This is amazing.
     
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  3. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    woah dude! Thats a lot to take in.

    I want that wi-fi phone. Let me say that again, i WANT that wi-fi phone!
     
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  4. xenophon

    xenophon Member
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    Please post link to original source. I can't find on Google so question if it is legit.
     
  5. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    Ugh, ive been on hold with sprint for over 20 minutes now. Why do they ALWAYS think that updating the PRL will solve everything!
     
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  6. guy2

    guy2 Senior Member
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    I want the wifi phone too
     
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  7. agentHibby

    agentHibby Iowa Cellular Guru
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    iDEN/CDMA phone will come to life. I am wonder if the phone will use SIM or RUIM?? We will have to wait and see.

    I think Sprint has alot good niches for business and consumors.
     
  8. Gman

    Gman Senior Member
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  9. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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  10. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    Jones,
    There have been Skype applets available for many smartphones for 2 years or so.
     
  11. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Tell me about Skype.
    I use skype for international pc to pc calls
    if u call a phone you have to pay.
    SKYPE on Smartphone can't do what these phones can do.
    If you have a Home Wireless Broadband Connection at Home
    tell me How your Smart Phone can use That?
    Skype has their own Phone Numbers
    i don't think you understand the Idea here.
     
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    #11 jones, Mar 12, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2006
  12. Gman

    Gman Senior Member
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    I believe the applets are for smartphones with WiFi capability and use that capability to access/use Skype and make calls.
     

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