Cingular 3G coming sooner

Jun 22 2004 - 03:44 PM ET | Cingular
Cingular has decided to speed up its 3G rollout. The last information we had pegged 2006 as the likely time period for Cingular to turn on 3G, but the company said today that the rollout will begin in 2005. Also worth note, is that Cingular will roll out an enhanced version of UMTS (3G) called High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA). HSDPA should offer peak data rates up to 14.4Mbps, which is 4-6x faster than most cable modem speeds. Interesting portions of the press release are included below. Cingular envisions numerous economic benefits to be gained by moving forward decisively with UMTS technology. Specifically, UMTS will: * Give customers more choices and make for a more competitive environment for wireless broadband services * Provide new opportunities for wireless developers to bring new applications to market more quickly * Produce new high-skilled jobs and give vendors incentives to create these jobs in America. A key advantage in deploying UMTS is the technologyís compatibility with Cingular and AT&T Wireless' existing GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks. Earlier this year, Cingular agreed to acquire AT&T Wireless. The deal is awaiting approvals from the FCC and Department of Justice. Once the companies are integrated, Cingular will operate the largest nationwide high-speed data network. The combined Cingular/AT&T Wireless network footprint and increased spectrum will also make it possible to roll out high-speed data services for the first time in many parts of rural America. Cingular, which pioneered the development of GSM at both 850 and 1900 MHz, intends to make the high-speed network available to not only its regional and rural roaming partners but also facilitate the ability for regional and rural carriers to deploy UMTS services on their networks as well.