A couple of months ago, Sprint graciously given me a Power Vision-enabled phone to use gratis as part of their Ambassador Program. I’ve been generally pleased with the service and showing streaming video on your cell phone makes for a neat demo when the conversation in the room turns to the mobile internet.

Sprint Power Vision

A few weeks ago, Sprint sent the Ambassadors (I wonder how many of use there are out there?) an email reminding them that they can use the USB cable that came with their phone to connect to a laptop and experience broadband speeds over wireless. I downloaded their software which essentially acts as a broadband modem for your laptop.

Sprint announced today that they are significantly upgrading the capacity of this network. They’re calling this new rollout “EV-DO Revision A” which is an upgrade to the current “Revision O” network. You can ask Sprint how they do their alphabet.

With Revision A technology, peak download data rates increase to 3.1 Mbps (from 2.0) and peak upload data rates increase to 1.8 Mbps (from 144 kbps). Average download speeds improve to 450-800 kbps (from 400 -700) and average uplink speeds become 300 – 400 kpbs (versus 70 – 144 kpbs). The faster data rates can enable richer applications and services such as high-speed video telephony, music on demand, video messaging, large file uploads and high performance push-to-talk capability.

From the press release:

Goody. I promptly connected via my Sprint phone and hit dslreports.com/tools to check out my speed as well as what others are reporting.

It was not quite what they promised but hopefully the upgrade will take care of that. Although I really don’t have a need for wireless broadband (Yahoo’s on campus wifi is great and I’ve rigged up wifi at home), the install was dead-easy and I can think of a couple instances where broadband wifi would be a godsend:

  1. Field sales, consultants, or repair staff.
  2. Anyone attending a conference. Everyone at eTech complained about the wifi and one session would have been a wash had not Jason Calcacanis not volunteered his wireless broadband.
  3. Anyone with a long commute on a train.
  4. Anyone living within New Orleans needing to communicate to the rest of the world.