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Cingular customers to get high-speed service.

Cingular Wireless is testing its Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) 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 (soon in Las Vegas), 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), 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, 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.
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Title Annotation:news updates
Publication:Mobile Business Advisor
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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