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August 4, 2006
US carrier Sprint Nextel Thursday announced expansion plans for its high speed wireless service and an agreement to carry VoIP traffic for Time Warner Cable.
Sprint plans to begin its roll out of the 3G upgrade technology known as EV-DO Revision A during the fourth quarter of this year with coverage expected to reach more than 40 million people by year end.
EV-DO Rev. A users are expected to experience faster average download speeds of between 450 to 800kbps; and average upload speeds of 300 to 400kbps, facilitating services such as high-speed video telephony, music on demand, video messaging, large file uploads and high performance push-to-talk capability.
In a second announcement, Time Warner Cable said it will soon utilise Sprint Nextel’s IP Network to offer VoIP services across most of its footprint of approximately 28 million homes.
Sprint Nextel recorded a 13 per cent year on year drop in income from continuing operations in the quarter to end June 30, with earnings sinking to $291m.
Although revenues increased 76 per cent year on year, to reach $10bn at the end of June, the carrier said that wireless revenue gains from a larger subscriber base and increased demand for data services were offset by an increased number of customers adopting lower priced voice service plans and lower pre-paid pricing.
“As a result, we will produce slower growth in the near-term,” said Gary Forsee, Sprint Nextel president and chief executive officer. “We had higher-than-anticipated migrations in our base to lower-priced service plans.”
During the quarter, the wireless unit added 708,000 retail subscribers including 210,000 post-paid and 498,000 prepaid customers under the Boost Mobile brand. With the purchase of Nextel Partners, the total base is 51.7 million. In the past 12 months, organic growth in the total subscriber base was 5.2 million.
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