Verizon Wireless Rolls Out 3G Service

By James Alan Miller

September 29, 2004

Verizon's EV-DO CDMA service is now available in over ten metropolitan markets and twenty airports, so customers can send and receive data at average speeds of 300 to 500 Kbps.

The road to 3G (third generation) cellular service took a giant leap forward this week when Verizon Wireless — the largest mobile operator in the United States — announced deployement of its reportedly delayed 1xEV-DO (evolution data only) solution for its CDMA network in a number of American markets and airports.

As a 3G technology, EV-DO data travels over a cellular network at typical speeds of 300 to 500 kilobits per second. EV-DO can theoretically hit data transmission rates of 2.4 megabits per second. Of course, you will need to purchase an EV-DO-enabled cell phone, smartphone or network card for a laptop to take advantage of the service.

Once you do, you'll be able to access the corporate network, stream audio and video as well as download games and more at 3G speeds in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Kansas City KS/MO, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Milwaukee, New York City, Philadelphia, Tampa, Washington DC, and West Palm Beach. Dallas, Houston, and Newark are among the over twenty airports to get EV-DO service.

The carrier expects a third of its network to be EV-DO capable by the end of the year, with additional market expansions coming in 2005. The goal is to bring national EV-DO service to 75 million people.

Verizon competitor Sprint, another CDMA operator, is working on deploying its 3G service to most metropolitan market next year. According to Sprint, its support for EV-DV (evolution data voice) should pump data at rates as high as 1.5 MBps, with nationwide service roll out taking place over the next two to three years.

To Sprint, Verizon's EV-DO solution fills only one part of the 3G puzzle, data. Whereas its EV-DV solution delivers both the voice and data components of 3G. So Sprint claims Verizon's EV-DO is really only one step towards its more complete EV-DV implementation of 3G.

Both companies agree their CDMA 3G offerings will be as good, if not better, than GSM's EDGE 3G solution, such as what we're seeing from AT&T Wireless and Cingular, the company who won the right to buy AT&T Wireless earlier this year with a bid of $41 billion in cash.

EDGE delivers data up to three times faster than GPRS, the current data-exchange standard for GSM. As a result, instead of streaming audio and video, for example, at 115 kilobytes per second (Kbps), the Nokia 6620, for example, should perform at 384 Kbps for AT&T Wireless.

Reprinted from Smart Phone Today.

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