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Sprint PCS Vision, United States of America

Key Data

Sprint PCS was the first US carrier to launch a nationwide 3G wireless network in 2002. The service, marketed as 'PCS Vision' provided users with average transfer speeds of between 40kbps and 60kbps. The network behind PCS Vision was further upgraded to achieve average speeds between 50kbps and 70kbps by August 2002.

Sprint PCS is a subsidiary of US wireline operator Sprint. In April 2002, Sprint PCS served around 16 million subscribers across its network while averaging $61 ARPU. At the time of the network launch, Sprint PCS had the largest 3G nationwide network worldwide.


Lucent Technologies, under the terms of a three-year agreement signed in 2001, is Sprint PCS's radio equipment supplier. The deal comprises the delivery and installation of Lucent base stations, mobile switching centers and wireless network software. In addition to this, Lucent performs cell site optimization and rollout project management.


Up until August 2002, Sprint PCS upgraded its third generation network nationwide to achieve average speeds of 50kbps to 70kbps - the first operator US operator to do so after the first 3G launches in North America. The upgrade consisted of swapping base station channel cards and assigning software as well as adding data components to the network. Sprint PCS used Bytemobile dynamic bandwidth optimisation technology from its Macara platform to further increase transmission speeds of the enhanced network.

In July 2003, a contract worth $1billion was signed between Lucent and Sprint. Lucent agreed to provide Sprint advanced stations, switching equipment, related software and advanced services. Sprint will benefit from enhanced nation 3G 1X network, increased coverage and capacity and the ability to offer its customers advanced data services based on CDMA 2000 1X EV-DV technology in the future.

3G 1X technology enables Sprint PCS to almost double its network capacity while offering always-on connectivity to web services and extending user equipments' battery life.


Sprint PCS is working closely with Sun Microsystems to provide next generation Internet services on its wireless network. The integrated voice, data and Internet service draws on Sun technologies, including SunONE software, Java technology and Sun servers. Based on open standards, Sprint PCS and third party service providers can enjoy faster time-to-market in the development of new service offerings.

Sprint PCS uses Sun Netra and Sun Fire servers running SunONE software for its 3G network, while employing Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition(J2ME) as the content platform for applications.


With the network launch, Sprint PCS offered a range of new applications to business users including the following: 'real-time' access to corporate networks and databases, calendars, company directories and e-mail, including the option to upgrade wireless devices to Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes with a simple software install. Collectively, these services were launched as the PCS Business Connection Enterprise Edition. To benefit from these services on a laptop or PC, Sprint PCS marketed the Novatel Wireless PCS Connection Card, which enables personal computers to access the web and corporate Intranets and Extranets while moving in the PCS Vision coverage area.

Apart from offering web browsing, email, ringtone downloads and games to the consumer market, users of PCS Vision can access full color versions of popular websites, including Google,, and

Sprint PCS uses QUALCOMM Incorporated's Compact Media Extension Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)-based multimedia software to facilitate ringtone downloads.


Sprint PCS's preferred radio equipment supplier is Lucent Technologies. Involved in the 1X network upgrade were CommWorks, HP, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nortel Networks, Openwave Systems, QUALCOMM and Samsung. Sprint PCS employs Sun servers and software for its 3G network, while using open standards platforms from Sun for application development and provision. Parros Consulting Group served as project manager for a number of Sprint PCS network launches in local markets.