Sprint Enables DirectConnect to Work Over 1xRTT
Sprint today announced that with new roaming agreements and the use of CDMA 1xRTT technology, the availability of its new DirectConnect service has expanded such that it covers three times the square mileage that its iDEN network does. According to Sprint, the DirectConnect service now works on its 1xRTT 2.5G network in its PCS 1900MHz spectrum band, which has a broader footprint than Sprint's EVDO 3G network. Sprint explained that initial call set-up time will take a bit longer over 1xRTT than over EVDO (especially in areas where the user is roaming), but that the rest of the conversation will behave as quickly as it does over EVDO. Sprint didn't name its new roaming partners, but they are other U.S. carriers that operate CDMA-1xRTT networks. Moving forward, new Sprint DirectConnect devices will ship with this feature enabled. DirectConnect devices that are already for sale, such as the Kyocera DuraMax and DuraCore, will require a software update to use DirectConnect over 1xRTT. The update will be delivered over the air beginning the week of June 18. Sprint also reaffirmed that it has ceased retail sales of iDEN handsets and will discontinue all availability of iDEN handsets in the coming weeks.
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