Sprint to Launch U.S. 3G This Year

Sprint PCS said Thursday that it will begin rolling out third-generation (3G) wireless services to its customers later this year.

That would make it the first U.S. carrier to offer 3G services. It also was the first carrier to make Net access available to wireless phone users, rolling out its service in September, 1999.

Initially, the service will provide data speeds of 144Kbps, which is 10 times the speed of its current wireless connections, it said in a statement. That speed will increase over time as the company continues its migration to 3G technology and adds more geographical areas.

Sprint will be first to market because it built its existing network from the ground up with 3G in mind, according to Oliver Valente, the company’s chief technology officer.

The company will fully unveil its 3G plans, and will provide demonstrations, at the CTIA Wireless 2001 show in Las Vegas next week, it said in a statement.

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