Sprint and Novatel Wireless are making the Sprint PCS Connection Card by Novatel Wireless available now to business customers.
The Merlin S620 is designed to operate on CDMA 1xEV-DO (Evolution, Data Optimized) and 1xRTT networks. The card will support broadband-like speeds when Sprint EV-DO coverage is available later this year in the USA and is backwards compatible to provide 1xRTT throughput speeds in Sprint coverage areas where EV-DO service is not yet available.
The companies say the Sprint PCS Connection Card will enable average user speeds of 400-700 kbps (kilobits per second) and peak rates of up to 2.0 Mbps (megabits per second) in EV-DO coverage areas and average user speeds of 50 to 70 kbps, with peak speeds of up to 144 kbps, on the 1XRTT portion of the Sprint Nationwide PCS Network.
With an embedded antenna, the Merlin S620 by Novatel Wireless can be used in conjunction with a laptop computer running Windows 2000, XP or Tablet XP and a PCMCIA Type II PC Card slot to access the Internet and data-intensive corporate applications, as well as send and receive email.
Sprint PCS Connection Manager Software comes packaged with the card to manage the user's connection to the packet data network and provides a compression client, self-diagnostic tools and automatic software updates from the Web. Customers using the device can benefit from bandwidth optimization for certain applications.
The Merlin S620 is being sold for a suggested retail price of US$249.99.
By early 2006, Sprint plans to make EV-DO service available in approximately 60 metropolitan areas in the USA. Portions of many major metro markets, including airports and business corridors, are expected to have EV-DO service available by early summer (North America) this year.