Sierra Wireless today announced the AirCard 595, the first mobile broadband card to support EV-DO Release A, the next major network upgrade for Sprint and Verizon. EV-DO Rel A promises up to 3.1 megabits of download speed, and up to 1.8 megabits of upload speed. EV-DO Rel A will enable video conferencing and other upload-dependent tasks that UMTS has held an advantage over EV-DO with.
Because the AirCard 595 will launch before networks upgrade to EV-DO Rel A, it will enable carriers to begin issuing Rel A cards before network launches, should they chose to do so. Sierra’s AirCard 595 is a Type II PC Card slot, and they have also announced the MC5725, a M2M version for integration into devices such as laptops.
Sierra did not announce a ExpressCard version of the device as of yet The 595 and MC5725 have both been sent to carriers for initial testing.