Residents and visitors to the greater Knoxville area will no longer need to rely on wired connections for broadband access to information as Cingular transforms the city into a wireless speedway.
Cingular today begins offering its 3G mobile wireless broadband service throughout Knoxville. Nearly the entire Knoxville area -- including most of Oak Ridge, up to Halls, down to Maryville, and east almost to Seymour -- is now a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Cingular 3G not only offers advanced wireless services, such as viewing video clips, it also 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 can access all the company's data services whenever they're connected to the Cingular network.
"We recognize that East Tennesseans -- businesspeople, academics, governmental officials, and others -- have a need for quick access to information," said Steve Sitton, Cingular's Southeastern Regional President, who grew up in the area. "Our 3G service gives them the ability to watch Vols highlights on their phones while waiting in line to see a show at the Tennessee Theater or grab a seat at a restaurant. We're providing customers with an 'invisible wire' that extends their broadband experience beyond their office or home."
Cingular customers can now use its 3G mobile broadband network to rapidly access e-mail, browse the Internet, connect to business applications, or watch video clips while on-the-go from an Ice Bears game at the Coliseum to the Knoxville Zoo, or while they are waiting to board a flight at McGhee Tyson Airport.
Cingular's 3G network provides average download data speeds between 400- 700 kilobits per second with bursts to over one megabit. HSDPA/UMTS (High- Speed Downlink Packet Access/Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) 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. Cingular is the only wireless company in the country with that capability. 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 last night's Vols game 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 Sitton. "Imagine the soccer mom getting regular video weather updates, or the business person checking the latest action on Wall Street with headlines from NBC -- all from their wireless phone."
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 HSDPA 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 LaptopConnect, 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 http://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 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 its 3G network and can be used in more than 110 countries around the world. With a Cingular LaptopConnect card, customers can have single-card mobile broadband access to data services in more places worldwide than offered by any other U.S. carrier.
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 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 Cingular's $235 million investment in its Tennessee network this year, adding new cell sites, backup generators and batteries and improving overall coverage and capacity, with the majority of this investment in the eastern portion of the state. Nationwide, the company spent $6.5 billion on its network last year and is doing the same in 2006, bringing its overall investment since the company's 2004 acquisition of AT&T Wireless to more than $13 billion.