Mobile Broadband Services Transform City into Wireless Speedway
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 25 // -- Cingular is transforming Charlotte into a wireless speedway as it launches its new mobile broadband service. The nation's largest wireless carrier today begins offering 3G (third generation) wireless broadband services throughout the greater metropolitan area.
Cingular customers in Charlotte now have access to a super-charged mobile broadband network, providing them with high-speed access to information in a world that has gone mobile. Customers can use the third generation (3G) network to quickly access e-mail, browse the internet, connect to business applications, or watch video clips while on the go, in a fraction of the time it used to take. Additionally, Cingular customers using a 3G handset can access all the company's data services whenever they're connected to the Cingular network.
"People want mobile access to communications and information services wherever they are, whether they are taking in a game at the Stadium, visiting a customer downtown, or working from home," said Alison Hall, vice president and general manager for Cingular's Carolinas market. "Our 3G network complements the broadband experience customers already receive at work by extending an 'invisible wire' throughout our service area, making almost any location in Charlotte a wireless hot spot."
Cingular's 3G network provides average download data speeds between 400- 700 kilobits per second, with bursts of over a megabit per second. The company currently provides 3G service in approximately 110 cities and towns located near more than 55 major metropolitan markets, including Charlotte and Raleigh. The new network will launch in Greensboro and Columbia next month. Cingular will expand its 3G network coverage area to most major markets by the end of 2006.
Cingular's 3G network is the first widely-available service in the world to use HSDPA/UMTS (High Speed Downlink Packet Access/Universal Mobile Telephone System) technology. This technology makes it possible for people to enjoy a wide variety of wireless content. HSDPA/UMTS gives Cingular the advantage of offering simultaneous voice and data services to customers and is based upon the global standard for wireless communications -- GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) -- used by more than one billion people in more than 210 countries. For Charlotte's businesses and consumers, this means more feature-rich services and content, and for Cingular, a more economical method for carrying traffic and more efficient use of spectrum.
PERSONAL MOBILITY - FAST AND FURIOUS
Customers who want to watch video highlights of last night's Panthers' game, or get a preview of HBO's "Entourage" series, can see it all -- and more -- by signing up for Cingular Video. Cingular Video is an on-demand streaming video service with a comprehensive selection of popular mobile content, with personalized access to razor-sharp clips that can be viewed on 3G-capable Cingular phones.
"We've structured Cingular Video so that customers can quickly and easily personalize and access some of their favorite entertainment and information sites," said Hall. "Imagine a soccer mom who can now get regular weather video updates every 30 minutes from her phone on the way between her son's or daughter's activities."
Cingular Video offers quick access to content users care about most. Cingular Video users can create a personalized home page with up to three links to their favorite video sites. In addition, the service is pre-set to automatically stream localized weather information to a user's personalized "News & Weather" page each day and provides local weather forecasts in 100 cities across the country, three times more cities than any other service provider.
Basic Cingular Video service includes more options for families from media outlets including ABC TV, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney Channel, Disney Mobile Studios, ESPN, FOX Sports, FOX News, FOX TV, FUEL, HBO Family (premium), HBO Mobile (premium), iFilm, Jayski Alerts, Music Choice, NASCAR.com To Go (premium), NCAA Championship Sports Content, NBC, Richard Childress Racing, SPEED, The Weather Channel and TV Guide Channel.
Cingular currently offers 3G service on the LG CU320 and Samsung SGH-ZX10 handsets and will add several other handsets to its product line, including adding support for HSDPA, in the coming months. Prices for Cingular 3G handsets start at $89 after a $50 mail-in rebate for a two-year service plan commitment. Cingular Video requires a $19.99 MEdia Net Unlimited data package. Premium content, such as HBO Mobile, is available on a an additional monthly subscription basis, while other content, such as music video clips from Music Choice, is available on a pay-per-view basis for a 24-hour period of time.
While some wireless providers offer only a limited set of "non-premium" content options, Cingular Video provides the most complete basic-service package available in the U.S. market. Cingular Video is the only service to offer Fox News clips in addition to news broadcasts from CNN and NBC.
MOBILIZING BUSINESS AT HIGH-SPEED
Utilizing its 3G network, Cingular's LaptopConnect solutions give businesses the ability to use their laptops to access the Internet or e-mail, download large files and attachments, or run corporate business applications at average data speeds between 400-700Kbps (kilobits per second) on the downlink, with bursts to more than a megabit per second.
"Businesses need the same fast reliable access to information whether they're working from a desktop in their office or making a presentation to a customer at an offsite location," said Jeff Bradley, vice president for Cingular's Business Markets Group. "They don't want to wait for a large contract to download or access their company's intranet site to check inventory status. With BroadbandConnect, they don't have to anymore."
Cingular LaptopConnect combines either an external LaptopConnect card or an integrated modem within a Laptop and Cingular's Communication Manager to provide access to the 3G network. The service also offers additional security features compared to alternative wireless technologies.
Customers can purchase either an Option Wireless GT Max, Novatel U730 or Sierra Wireless AC860 laptop modem card for $89.99, after rebate, when they sign up for a qualifying voice plan and two-year, Unlimited Data Connect plan. Customers can also purchase a Dell Latitude D620 or Dell Latitude D820 at www.cingular.com/dell. Cingular's Unlimited DataConnect plan is currently $59.99 those customers who sign up for a two year term and have a qualifying voice plan with Cingular.
Additionally, business customers traveling outside the United States can select one of two international data plans. Cingular DataConnect North America ($109.99 for 100MB) for travel within Canada and Mexico, and DataConnect Global ($139.99 for 100MB), an overseas plan -- both include unlimited data usage on Cingular's domestic data networks. Cingular is the first and only carrier in the world to offer a single card/single rate plan solution for international travelers.
All Cingular LaptopConnect cards and Integrated modems are dual-band HSDPA/UMTS (850/1900Mhz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution/General Packet Radio Service) in four bands (850/900/1800/1900Mhz), which means the devices are interoperable between the company's nationwide EDGE network and it's 3G network. The Option Wireless GT Max card also includes the 2100Mhz band, offering either HSDPA or UMTS broadband speeds in select countries.
THE TECHNOLOGY: HSDPA/UMTS
HSDPA is the high-speed evolution of GSM/EDGE (Global System for Mobile Communication), which shares a common core network and therefore is backward compatible with EDGE/GPRS.
In areas where the 3G network is not available, customers will automatically receive service on the company's EDGE network. The Cingular EDGE network is available in more than 13,000 cities and towns and in areas along 40,000 miles of highways, providing average data speeds between 70-135 kbps. Cingular customers can make and receive voice calls in more than 190 countries and access data services in more than 100 countries.
The Charlotte launch is part of the company's $385 million investment in its Carolinas network this year. Cingular's local investment is part of a more than $6 billion commitment to enhance and expand its ALLOVER(TM) network nationwide this year.
About Cingular Wireless
Cingular Wireless is the largest wireless carrier in the United States, serving 58.7 million customers. Cingular, a joint venture between AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and BellSouth Corporation (NYSE:BLS), has the largest digital voice and data network in the nation -- the ALLOVER(TM) network -- and the largest mobile-to-mobile community of any national wireless carrier. Cingular is a leader in third generation wireless technology. Its 3G network is the first widely available service in the world to use HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology. Cingular is the only U.S. wireless carrier to offer Rollover®, the wireless plan that lets customers keep their unused monthly minutes. Details of the company are available at www.cingular.com/. Get Cingular Wireless press releases emailed to you automatically. Sign up at cingular.mediaroom.com/.
Source: Cingular Wireless
Web site: http://www.cingular.com/