Amazon Whispernet is based on the Sprint EVDO network and provides a few critical functions for the Kindle (if the coverage meets your requirements, you can buy the kindle at amazon)
- Whispernet allows Kindle owners to wirelessly download books right onto the kindle, in just a couple minutes. Also allows downloading of newspapers and magazines.
- Amazon Whispernet provides internet surfing and access to Wikipedia.
Oct 7, 2009 Update: Do check out the Kindle International WhisperNet Wireless Coverage Map.
At the moment Whispernet is free – there is no indication from Amazon on whether it’ll stay free forever – however it is a reasonable assumption that Amazon has some sort of arrangement with Sprint that allows for a certain amount of internet usage by Kindle owners. There must be some part of the cost of books, magazines etc. that accounts for delivery costs over WhisperNet, and perhaps also for use of Whispernet.
To get an in-depth look at WhisperNet coverage in your city or state, try out the Amazon Kindle Coverage Map. This seems to be the same as the Sprint EVDO coverage map i had listed earlier – however this one is the official link. Also updated that post. Please do note that Montana has little to no Whispernet coverage, and several states have very little WhisperNet coverage.