Verizon Expanding Service - MSNBC

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This caught my eye earlier today.
Verizon expands high-speed Internet service
Company extends lead over Cingular, Sprint

The Associated Press
Updated: 6:53 p.m. ET June 27, 2005

NEW YORK - Verizon Wireless is bringing broadband Internet service to 15
more markets, for a total of more than 50, extending its lead over Cingular
Wireless and Sprint Corp. in delivering faster data transfers to laptop and
cell phone users.

The expansion of the Verizon data network, which can make mobile workers
more productive and which fuels such new services as video on cell phones,
includes Seattle, St. Louis, Cleveland and the Long Island suburbs of New
York City.

The announcement comes amid mounting speculation about possible snags in the
launch of the same technology by Sprint and the further deployment of a
similar service by Cingular.

Verizon's rivals both maintain they're on track with their wireless
broadband strategies despite some substantial merger distractions.

Mindful of Verizon's publicity push, Sprint told The Associated Press on
Monday that rather than waiting to launch its EV-DO technology across entire
markets, it may start offering services in "dense business corridors" and
airports in certain cities by early summer.

Sprint, hustling to complete its planned merger with Nextel Communications
Inc., also said its EV-DO service will be available in about 60 metropolitan
areas when its national build-out is complete in early 2006.

Cingular, which is working to integrate the AT&T Wireless network and
operations it acquired late last year, already sells wireless broadband
using a technology called UMTS in six cities and plans to add at least 10
more markets by the end of 2005.

EV-DO and the type of UMTS that Cingular is deploying are billed as
providing download speeds from 400 to 700 kilobits per second.

That's on par with entry-level DSL and cable broadband services but well shy
of the speed delivered by Wi-Fi connections at many airports, coffee shops
and book stores.

But despite the slower speed, EV-DO and UMTS give users the flexibility of
being to go online wherever there's a cellular signal. A Wi-Fi signal
typically carries only a few hundred feet.

Wireless companies view mobile Internet access as one of more promising
opportunities in an industry where price wars are weighing on revenues from
phone calls and nearly two thirds of the nation's people are already signed
up as customers.

Verizon, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone
Group PLC, charges laptop $80 per month for unlimited Internet access. For
cell phones, Verizon's multimedia VCAST service costs $15 per month for
unlimited use, not including fees for premium content such as music videos
and 3-D video games.

The Verizon service is now available in 13 of the 15 new markets: Akron,
Ohio; Athens, Ga.; Beaumont, Texas; Cleveland, Ohio; Indianapolis; Lake
Charles, La.; Nassau and Suffolk, N.Y.; New London, Conn.; Portland, Ore.;
Richmond, Va.; St. Louis; San Antonio; Seattle. The service will be turned
on in Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y. on July 11.

As part of the latest rollout, Verizon is also adding service at airports in
four more markets: Minneapolis-St. Paul in Minnesota, and Oakland, San
Francisco and San Jose in California.

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
© 2005

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