Cingular Wireless today launched its super-charged wireless network capable of providing customers with high-speed access to information in a world that has gone mobile. Customers can use the third-generation (3G) network to access Cingular BroadbandConnect, which is available to nearly 35 million people in 52 communities throughout the United States. The company will continue to extend the network rapidly next year.
Cingular's 3G network is the first widely available service in the world to use HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology. HSDPA is the high-speed evolution of GSM/EDGE (Global System for Mobile Communication/Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) and based on UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System), which shares a common core network. GSM is the world's most popular wireless technology, which is used by more than one billion people in 210 countries while UMTS is mostly used in Europe and Japan and is also called 3GSM.
Stan Sigman, Cingular's president and CEO,
announced the service at an investor conference in New York City: "Make no
mistake about it: Wireless users want the speed and services they've come to
expect from their wired connections. And today Cingular is delivering on its
promises to provide both the speed and reliability customers need."
will initially launch the BroadbandConnect service in Austin, Baltimore, Boston,
Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San
Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tacoma and Washington D.C.
"We're giving customers the ability to securely access information and applications at
broadband speeds in the office, on the road or at home.With our 3G service,
almost any spot in a city is a hot spot," said Ralph de la Vega, chief operating
officer for Cingular Wireless." BroadbandConnect complements our national
high-speed EDGE data service, offering customers the flexibility and ubiquity
required to be more productive as the world continues to go wireless."
Cingular BroadbandConnect is a super-charged enhancement to the company's
nationwide EDGE network, the nation's largest wireless high-speed data
network.When coupled with a compatible device and service plan, the service
provides average mobile data connections between 400-700Kbps (kilobits per
second) on the downlink and bursts to more than a megabit per second.
BroadbandConnect combines a laptop modem card, Cingular's Communication Manager
software and a Data Connect plan for use on laptops. Customers can use their
laptops to access the Internet or e-mail, download large files and attachments,
and run corporate business applications at broadband speeds in areas covered by
BroadbandConnect. The service also offers additional security features compared
to alternative wireless technologies. Additional devices and exclusive services
that take advantage of the high-speed HSDPA network, such as transmitting full
motion video and providing ultra-fast audio, will be available in 2006.
Unlike services offered by some wireless companies, BroadbandConnect does not drop a
session when the user is outside the coverage area. Cingular said the laptop
modem cards are dual-band HSDPA/UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephone System)
(850/1900Mhz) and backward compatible with EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global
Evolution) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) in four bands
(850/900/1800/1900Mhz), so the session is seamlessly transferred to the
company's nationwide EDGE network or a data network of one of its roaming
The Cingular EDGE network is available in more than 13,000 cities
and towns and in areas along 40,000 miles of highways, providing average data
speeds between 70 - 135 Kbps.Cingular customers can also access data services in
more than 90 countries.
Customers can purchase either a Sierra Wireless AC860
or Novatel U730 laptop modem card for $99.99, after rebate, when they sign up
for a qualifying voice plan and introductory two-year $59.99 Unlimited Data
Connect plan. A variety of monthly data plans are available starting at $19.99
for 5 MB.
An updated version of Cingular Communication Manager is included with the
laptop modem cards. The software gives customers the flexibility to connect to
BroadbandConnect, EDGE, GPRS or public and private Wi-Fi hotspots.
BroadbandConnect uses HSDPA/UMTS technology - the global standard and natural 3G
evolutionary path for GSM providers. Wireless carriers offering UMTS, EDGE or
GPRS can upgrade their networks to HSDPA and be assured there is a continued
evolutionary path to faster speeds and more advanced services.
"HSDPA/UMTS gives us the singular advantage of offering simultaneous voice and data services
to our customers. For businesses and consumers, this means more feature rich
services and content," said Kris Rinne, chief technology officer for Cingular."
It also provides a lower cost method for carrying traffic and more efficient use
Laptop modem cards will be available at select Cingular Wireless
retail stores in December and in all stores in January.
Cheers ~ Arne