High Speed Wireless Set for D.C., San Diego

By Roy Mark

July 21, 2003

With data speeds of up to 2.4 Mbps, Verizon Wireless to offer service it says will be comparable to wireline connections.

Verizon Wireless has targeted Washington and San Diego as the first two cities to roll out high-speed wireless service comparable to its wireline broadband connections. Based on Qualcomm's Code Division Multiple Access cellular standard, the service will offer wireless speeds up to 2.4 megabits per second.

With virtual private network (VPN) connections, data customers in both cities will be able to access Verizon's 1xEV-DO high-speed data network as an extension of their corporate local area network (LAN) or intranet. In order to receive the increased data speeds, 1xEV-DO devices are required, and the company says it plans to sell PCMCIA cards, office modem solutions and a number of other mobile devices.

Last year, Verizon Wireless conducted technology trials of 1xEV-DO in Washington with Lucent Technologies and in San Diego with Nortel Networks.

"We've had tremendous success with our 1XRTT Express Network launch and have closely monitored market demand for even higher speed wireless data services while evaluating advantages of technology and network improvements," said Dick Lynch, executive vice president and chief technical officer for Verizon Wireless.

Also in the third quarter, the company said it plans to offer complementary access between its own branded 802.11 service and its WAN. Recognizing the proliferation of Wi-Fi on corporate campuses and in travel related venues such as hotels and airports, Verizon Wireless is working with Wayport to offer Wi-Fi service in popular indoor locations.

Verizon Wireless will provide network monitoring for the new service, plus authentication and billing. The new service will be available through Verizon Wireless' existing distribution channels including B2B sales teams.

"Our business customers have a need for speed, security, coverage and reliability when it comes to wireless access to data," said John Stratton, vice president and chief marketing officer. "We're going to meet their diverse needs by delivering customized, technologically advanced wireless solutions."

In May, Verizon announced it planned to build Wi-Fi hotspot extensions of its broadband service in New York, using existing pay phones as the distribution vehicle. In all, the telecom plans to have 1,000 access spots in the city by year's end. Users can access the Internet through Wi-Fi compatible laptops, PDAs or pocket PCs within 300 feet of the hotspots.

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