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Sprint Lights Up Information Autobahn in Bay Area with 4G WiMax



Sprint is hoping you’ll be saying goodbye to traffic congestion, at least in the Bay Area and when it comes to mobile broadband. The Now Network carrier has just announced, as promised and on schedule, that it is lighting up 4G WiMax access in Bay Area cities, giving residents of high-tech Silicon Valley the opportunity to unleash the true potential of 4G capable USB modems, the Sprint Overdrive mobile hotspot router, the Sprint HTC EVO 4G Android smartphone as well as the Samsung Epic 4G Galaxy S smartphone variant.

According to the carrier, 4G WiMax will deliver up to ten times the performance of the carrier’s 3G EV-DO network. 4G service is now available in San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto and Oakland, and the San Francisco Metropolitan Area is the 71st market serviced by 4G, which includes Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; and New York City, NY among others. New York and San Francisco have been markets that rivals, such as AT&T, have had problems delivering coverage and performance; with WiMax’s strong performance in these areas, Sprint has the opportunity to woo tech savvy mobile data users who suffer from dropped calls on their iPhones into the folds of the Android EVO 4G.

While in Las Vegas, NV last spring for the CTIA trade show, I was impressed with Sprint’s 4G demonstration. The carrier had utilized the newly announced HTC EVO 4G smartphone’s WiMax capabilities as a mobile router via the built-in hotspot app to power streaming HD Netflix movies on a connected HDTV without stutter–an impressive feat for a mobile wireless modem considering that my Los Angeles, California home cable modem often stuttered when I played Netflix content on Roku. In Las Vegas, NV and in Los Angeles, CA where 4G WiMax is available, I had averaged anywhere between 3 Mbps to 7 Mbps on Sprint’s 4G Now Network. With faster mobile Internet speeds, Sprint is finally giving smartphones their true power of delivering quick, instant anywhere, anytime data access. By unlocking this capability, Sprint’s network will deliver added value to Bay Area users, especially on devices like the Overdrive, Epic 4G, and EVO 4G.

As the first U.S. carrier with a 4G network powered by WiMax technology, Sprint and HTC had launched America’s first 4G smartphone running the Android platform–the HTC EVO 4G–this past summer to much fanfare. However, since the launch of the EVO 4G, there are now more competitors on the market–rival T-Mobile is boasting its evolved 3G HSPA+ network as a 4G network and Verizon Wireless will be launching its first smartphones for the carrier’s 4G LTE network sometime in 2011.

Press Release:

Tech Lovers Rejoice! The San Francisco Bay Area is Wired with Sprint 4G

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Dec. 28, 2010 – Today, Sprint (NYSE:S) officially unleashed the power of 4G in one of the world’s largest hotbeds of technological creativity and advancement – the San Francisco Bay Area. The new mobile broadband service from Sprint enables fast mobile downloads, wireless video chat and turbo-charged mobile Web browsing up to 10 times faster than 3G service1. The service will initially be available in San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto and Oakland. Nationwide, tech enthusiasts are enjoying the power and speed of the Sprint 4G network, in 71 markets2 across the country, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City.

The Sprint 4G Network can be accessed with a wide range of 3G/4G capable devices. For example, tourists can snap a photo of a San Francisco landmark with their Samsung Epic™ 4G and use Google Goggles to pull up facts about it by using visual search technology. Customers can video chat on their HTC EVO™ 4G, and families traveling for the holidays can power up the Overdrive™ 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot to share 4G speeds with up to five WiFi-enabled devices – such as an iPad™, laptop, iPod Touch™ or game console – making downloads, streaming video and Web browsing fast and easy. For students, consumers and small businesses that rely on Internet access, Web browsing and social networking to stay connected, Sprint also offers Dell™ Inspiron™ Mini 10 (1012) netbook designed to deliver maximum connectivity in a compact size.

“The Bay Area is responsible for creating so much new technology and today we are bringing the power of 4G to our customers in that region who are hungry for fast mobile broadband,” said Matt Carter, president-Sprint 4G. “The introduction of Sprint 4G will be a great asset for this area, and we encourage customers to try it by using one of our well-regarded 4G mobile devices.”

The Bay Area’s own Raj Singh of San Jose was one of five winners of the Sprint 4G App Challenge. Singh developed an innovative application to help food lovers be more productive in the kitchen. His application, Recipe Search, is a reverse recipe finder app. The user simply speaks the ingredients they have in their refrigerator or pantry and will then see a display of meals with directions for creating something with those ingredients.

Sprint first launched 4G in Baltimore in September 2008 and since then has delivered a robust portfolio of 4G devices, including smartphones, USB aircards, notebook/netbook products, mobile hotspots and routers, that are currently being used by consumers and businesses across the country.

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