Following Cingular's announcement of its 3G network plans, Sprint awarded contracts for its nationwide wireless data network: Back in June Sprint said the upgrade would cost $1 billion but it now says it is spending a whopping $3 billion, including upgrades to radio hardware and software and increasing capacity on the network. Nortel and Lucent received three year deals while Motorola earned an extension of its existing contract through 2006. The 1xEV-DO network should be nationwide around 2006.
The playing field is leveling off a bit with all the major operators working on extensive higher speed wireless data roll-outs. Sprint, which doesn't yet have any high-speed data markets launched, is behind Cingular and Verizon. T-Mobile's plans aren't totally clear but its network of Wi-Fi hotspots exceeds any hotspot efforts launched by the others.