Cingular customers to get high-speed service.
Cingular Wireless is testing its Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is one of the third-generation (3G) cell phone technologies. Currently, the most common form uses W-CDMA as the underlying air interface, is standardized by the 3GPP, and is the European answer to the ITU (UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) The GSM implementation of the 3G wireless phone system. Part of IMT-2000, UMTS provides service in the 2 GHz band and offers global roaming and personalized features. ) network in Atlanta, its home market. UMTS is based on GSM/GPRS/EDGE technology that supports data rates up to 384 Kbps. UMTS is comparable in speed to the EvDO network Verizon launched in Washington D.C. and San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. (soon in Las Vegas Las Vegas (läs vā`gəs), city (1990 pop. 258,295), seat of Clark co., S Nev.; inc. 1911. It is the largest city in Nevada and the center of one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States. ), which offers download speeds of 300-500Kbps and upstream speeds of about 56Kbps. However, Cingular is also planning to deploy an enhanced version of UMTS called High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) See HSPA. ), which will further increase network capacity with peak data rates up to a whopping 14.4Mbps (a T-1 is 1.5Mbps). The network will support full roaming, providing the same connectivity no matter where the user travels.
Cingular's UMTS network is based on Lucent technology. Cingular customers will use Merlin U520 UMTS Wireless PC Modem Cards, jointly developed by Lucent and Novatel Wireless Novatel Wireless, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVTL) is a San Diego, California-based designer and manufacturer of wireless broadband access solutions. With European offices in United Kingdom, Germany, and France, Novatel Wireless owns 30 technology patents relating to wireless voice and , which support high-speed data connections on laptops, PDAs, and other mobile devices. Lucent says its UMTS solution can support HSDPA with a software-only upgrade to its existing equipment.
Cingular's acquisition of AT&T Wireless is a key component of its UMTS strategy. The AT&T Wireless network gives Cingular the spectrum it needs for the new service. The combined Cingular/AT&T network footprint will make it possible to roll out high-speed data services in many parts of rural America.
Cingular could begin national rollout of UMTS in 2005.