Sprint chief predicts 3G network is in the government's future

Sprint chief predicts 3G network is in the government's future

Government will buy into Sprint Corp.'s new 3G wireless network, president Ronald T. LeMay predicted today during his keynote address at the Networld+Interop and Comdex conference in Atlanta.

'The government in general has been an early adopter' of new technologies, he said. 'I believe it will in this case as well.'

3G is an International Telecommunications Union specification for advanced mobile communications. Sprint rolled out its nationwide 3G network last month in what LeMay called 'the biggest undertaking we've had since we entered the long-distance market in 1986.'

The convergence of wired and wireless voice and data communications, he said, will help the telecommunications industry survive current economic hardships, evident this year in the shrunken size of the N+I conference.

Although Sprint is hoping to supply 3G services through its FTS 2001 contract, there are obstacles to overcome before the wired and wireless links become seamless, LeMay acknowledged. Security is one. He said Sprint has several internal laboratories working on security, and a number of partner companies also are developing security products.

'Our belief is that these problems are solvable,' he said.

Quality of service also is an issue. Current performance differences between wired and wireless networks do not permit uniform service level agreements over a converged network.

'We know wireless networks have to get better,' LeMay said. 'It's developing.'

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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