Sprint promises to bolster 3G wireless security for feds

ATLANTA'Sprint Corp.'s president said he expects that government agencies will buy into the company's new 3G wireless network.

'The government in general has been an early adopter' of new technologies, president Ronald T. LeMay said last week during a keynote address at the NetWorld+Interop and Comdex conference. '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 its 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 trying to develop security products. 'Our belief is that these problems are solvable,' he said.

Quality of service also is an issue. Currently, 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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