Wireless users in Tampa and Lakeland feeling the need for speed now have the Cingular Wireless mobile broadband network to consider. The nation's largest wireless carrier today begins offering its 3G (third generation) wireless broadband service throughout the metropolitan Tampa, including Tampa International Airport and the University of South Florida campus, and along the I-4 corridor in Lakeland.
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 ring tone, 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.
"In today's fast-paced society, people are always on the go and have a craving for quick access to information," said Rudy Hermond, vice president and general manager for Cingular's West, Central, and North Florida markets. "Our 3G service gives them the ability to watch their favorite sports and shows on their phone while waiting in line to 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 the 3G mobile broadband network to rapidly access e-mail, browse the Internet, connect to business applications, or watch video clips while on-the-go in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties.
Cingular's 3G network provides average download data speeds between 400- 700 kilobits per second with bursts to over one megabit per second. The company currently provides 3G services in approximately 115 cities, 52 markets and 28 states, in addition to Washington D.C.
Cingular's 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 (Global System for Mobile Communications). 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 a 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 Hermond. "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. In addition to Cingular Video, Cingular offers MobiTV, which features more than 20 channels of live television.
In Orlando, Cingular currently offers 3G service on the LG CU500, the first HSPDA wireless phone available in the country. The company is adding several other handsets to its product line in the coming months. The LG CU500 is available for $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 400-700 Kbps (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 $49.99, after rebate, when they sign up for a 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 per month 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, 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, 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 world-wide, enabling Cingular customers to make and receive voice calls in nearly 200 countries.
The launch is part of the company's $340 million investment in its Florida network this year. Over the past three years, Cingular has invested more than $1 billion in Florida adding new cell sites, back-up generators and batteries and improving overall coverage and capacity.