When you are working on your notebook computer and can’t get access to a WiFi hotspot what’s the next best thing? A “hot spot” from Verizon or Cingular operating over a fast cellular data connection.
Cingular launched a new 3G wireless network yesterday which is available to nearly 35 million people in 52 communities throughout the United States.The company will continue to extend the network rapidly next year.
Cingular will initially launch the BroadbandConnect service in Austin (TX.), Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland (OR.), Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA.), Seattle, Tacoma (Wash.) and Washington D.C.
Cingular BroadbandConnect is a super-charged enhancement to the company’s nationwide EDGE network, the nation’s largest wireless high-speed data network.When coupled with a compatible device and service plan, the service provides average mobile data connections between 400-700Kbps (kilobits per second) on the downlink and bursts to more than a megabit per second.
BroadbandConnect combines a laptop modem card, Cingular’s Communication Manager software and a Data Connect plan for use on laptops.Customers can use their laptops to access the Internet or e-mail, download large files and attachments, and run corporate business applications at broadband speeds in areas covered by BroadbandConnect.The service also offers additional security features compared to alternative wireless technologies.Additional devices and exclusive services that take advantage of the high-speed HSDPA network, such as transmitting full motion video and providing ultra-fast audio, will be available in 2006.
Customers can purchase either a Sierra Wireless AC860 or Novatel U730 laptop modem card for $99.99, after rebate, when they sign up for a qualifying voice plan and introductory two-year $59.99 Unlimited Data Connect plan.A variety of monthly data plans are available starting at $19.99 for 5 MB.
An updated version of Cingular Communication Manager is included with the laptop modem cards.The software gives customers the flexibility to connect to BroadbandConnect, EDGE, GPRS or public and private Wi-Fi hotspots.
BroadbandConnect uses HSDPA/UMTS technology — the global standard and natural 3G evolutionary path for GSM providers.Wireless carriers offering UMTS, EDGE or GPRS can upgrade their networks to HSDPA and be assured there is a continued evolutionary path to faster speeds and more advanced services.