At the beginning of the year we caught wind of some information from Sprint that sounded important enough to spread around so we posted at EVDOforums.com:
Upgrade Sprint Connection Manager by 4/30/2007
Sprint had said that customers with any of the currently available products (Merlin S720, Ovation U720, Sierra AirCard 595, or the Pantech PX-500) would have to upgrade their Sprint Connection Manager software before the end of February. If they didn't there was a strong possibility that these users would not be able to connect to the Sprint network, beyond that date.
Sprint has further informed us that they have since pushed the date back to April 30, 2007 and that the reason users must update their software is because certain towers require a setting that only a firmware update will allow.
It turns out that in 12 markets (including: Chicago, Charlotte, Hawaii, Knoxville, and others), Sprint is using Motorola base stations and the currently available EVDO devices will not work on those base stations without an "MFPA" setting that can only be set via firmware update.
Sprint plans on sending a postcard to existing customers in the near future.
Sprint EVDO customers who may be flying through major airports in those cities need to have the new firmware in place before leaving on their trips, or they won't be able to connect. Also, anyone residing in Chicago or other 12 areas, HAVE to have the firmware upgrade, or their cards will not be able to connect after May 1, 2007. I can see lots of posts on May 1, 2007, hey, I connected at Chicago Ohare and my Sprint Card didn't work - but I got home and it did.
Everyone considering a new purchase of any of those devices, should not depend on Sprint's currently available stock to have the proper firmware already in place. There is no guarantee that just because you buy a new device, it will have the latest firmware on it. When you buy from us, ask us to activate and upgrade firmware on your device, and we'll do it for no extra charge. Its just one way we keep our customers from being frustrated over EVDO.
Reading between the lines, we're also interpreting this as an announcement that Rev-A will be turned on in those markets on or around 04/30/2007.
Discuss Upgrade Sprint Connection Manager by 4/30/2007 on EVDOforums
Sprint EVDO Required Firmware 4/30/07 on EVDOinfo.com