Verizon offers broadband wireless

FRAMINGHAM (09/29/2003) - Verizon Wireless Inc. this week unveiled a service designed to duplicate the performance of wireline broadband services.

Called BroadbandAccess, the wireless offering allows users to download corporate files and business information residing behind firewalls, and access e-mail, intranets and the Internet at 300K to 500K bit/sec, burstable to 2M bit/sec. A 1M-byte e-mail attachment, for example, can be downloaded in 20 seconds with BroadbandAccess, vs. 90 seconds with EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) wireless technology or seven minutes with GPRS, Verizon says.

The new service is based on third-generation (3G) CDMA 1xEVDO wireless technology and is available in Washington, D.C. and San Diego for a flat rate of US$80 per month. Required equipment includes the Verizon Wireless PC 5220 card for laptop computers, manufactured by Sierra Wireless, which costs $150 after $100 rebate through the end of the year.

Verizon Wireless will offer additional BroadbandAccess devices, including additional cards, modem packages for the office, and a range of handheld mobile devices at a later date.

1xEVDO refers to 1x Evolution, Data Optimized. CDMA2000 1xEV-DO is an alternative 3G wireless technology to Wideband CDMA (WCDMA). WCDMA offers data rates of 384K bit/sec. Previous to 1xEVDO, Verizon Wireless offered data rates of 40K bit/sec to 60K bit/sec, burstable to 144K bit/sec, on its 1xRTT Express Network.

BroadbandAccess is part of Verizon Wireless' VZOffice business service suite.

Verizon Wireless began 1xEVDO technology trials last year with Lucent Technologies Inc. in Washington, D.C., and with Nortel Networks in San Diego. In the first half of this year, Verizon Wireless expanded the coverage areas to towns surrounding these two markets.

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