Mobile Wireless Broadband Network Transforms City Into Metropolitan "Hot Spot"
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Oct. 18 // -- Millions of people living or visiting the greater Birmingham area will no longer need to rely on wired connections for broadband access to information as Cingular transforms 'The Magic City' into a wireless super speedway.
Cingular today begins offering its 3G mobile wireless broadband service throughout the Birmingham metropolitan area. Cingular customers can now use Cingular's 3G mobile broadband network to rapidly access e-mail, browse the Internet, connect to business applications, watch video clips while on-the-go shopping at the Galleria Mall, relaxing at Vulcan Park, attending classes at Samford University or when they are waiting in the Birmingham Airport.
Cingular 3G not only offers advanced wireless services, such as viewing video clips, it enhances existing services by making them run faster. Customers can now download a game or ringtone, or access e-mail, in a fraction of the time it used to take. Additionally, Cingular customers using a 3G handset with a data rate plan package can access all the company's data services whenever they're connected to the Cingular network.
"Whether you are a small business owner or a soccer mom, you're always on the go and have a craving for quick access to information," said Joe Larussa, vice president and general manager, Cingular Wireless, Alabama/Mississippi/Louisiana/NW Florida. "Our 3G service gives our customers the ability to watch news, sports and entertainment highlights or weather forecast on their phone while waiting in line at the airport or grabbing a seat at a restaurant. We're providing customers with an 'invisible wire' that extends their broadband experience beyond their office or home."
Cingular's 3G network provides average download data speeds between 400- 700 kilobits per second with bursts to over one megabit. The company currently provides 3G services in 57 of the top 100 major metropolitan areas serving 110 cities and towns.
HSDPA/UMTS technology makes it possible for people to enjoy a wide variety of wireless content and gives Cingular the advantage of offering simultaneous voice and data services to customers based upon the global standard for wireless communications - GSM. For 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 the last Talladega race or view highlights of a number of HBO's series including "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Entourage" or "The Wire," can see it all -- and more -- by signing up for Cingular Video. Cingular Video is an on-demand streaming video service with a large selection of popular mobile content that can be viewed on 3G-capable Cingular phones.
"We've tailored Cingular Video so that customers can quickly and easily personalize and access the information that's most important to them," said Larussa.
Cingular Video includes local weather forecasts in 100 cities across the country. Basic Cingular Video service includes more options for families from media outlets including ABC TV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, CMT, CNN, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, Disney Mobile Studios, ESPN, FOX Sports, FOX News, FOX TV, FUEL, HBO Family (premium), HBO Mobile (premium), iFilm, Jayski Alerts, MTV, Music Choice, NASCAR.com To Go (premium), NCAA Championship Sports Content, NBC, Nickelodeon, Richard Childress Racing, SPEED, Spike, The Weather Channel, TV Guide Channel and VH1.
Cingular currently offers 3G service on several handsets including the only HSPDA wireless phones available in the country, the LGCU500 and Samsung ZX20. The company is adding several other handsets to its product line in the coming months. Prices for Cingular 3G handsets start at $99 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 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.
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 or Sierra Wireless laptop modem card for $99.99, 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 currently is $59.99 for 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 tri-band HSDPA/UMTS (850/1900/2100Mhz) 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. Additionally, customers can use the cards to access broadband service in approximately a dozen countries, and other data connections in more than 100 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 receive service on the company's EDGE network. The Cingular EDGE network is available to 270 million people in more than 13,000 cities and towns and in areas along 40,000 miles of highways, providing average data speeds up to 135Kbps. GSM is the world's most popular wireless technology, which is used by international wireless carriers to serve more than two billion people worldwide, and enabling Cingular customers to make/receive voice calls in nearly 200 countries.
The launch is part of the company's $145 million investment in its Alabama/NW Florida network this year. Over the past three years, Cingular has invested more than $300 million adding new cell sites, back-up generators and batteries and improving overall coverage and capacity in Alabama.
About Cingular Wireless
Cingular Wireless is the largest wireless carrier in the United States, serving 57.3 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® 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
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