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  1.    #1  
    Bummer that speeds are coming in at half what Verizon is advertising. Let's hope that UMTS doesn't have a similar haircut.

    Also note the comment about how the growing ubiquity of WiFi is puting serious heat on the carriers and their multi-billion dollar 3G rollouts. Treo 650 may be able to get away w/o integrated WiFi, but it will probably be the last Treo upgrade to leave out such a critical component -GH

    Verizon Wireless Targets 11 Sites
    For Higher-Speed Internet Service

    By JESSE DRUCKER
    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    September 23, 2004; Page D4

    Verizon Wireless said it will roll out its higher-speed wireless-Internet-access service next week to 11 markets, including parts of New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

    The expanded service, which will be available to a little more than 10% of the country's population, is part of the carrier's efforts to establish itself as the dominant provider in the nascent market for wireless Web access.

    Since last year, Verizon Wireless has been upgrading its cellular network with a technology called EV-DO, which the operator says will offer speeds comparable with a traditional wired digital-subscriber-line connection. The carrier has said it plans to spend $1 billion this year and next on the rollout.

    Other carriers also are upgrading their networks to offer higher speeds. Sprint Corp. has said it will begin deploying the same technology later this year over its wireless network. Cingular Wireless, which is likely to overtake Verizon Wireless as the country's biggest cellphone operator later this year, also has plans to deploy higher-speed technology, though largely not until 2006. Cingular is a joint venture of BellSouth Corp. and SBC Communications Inc.

    Denny Strigl, Verizon Wireless's chief executive, said the service gives the carrier "a very good competitive advantage over anything that is out there now or anything planned in the near future." However, he acknowledged, "it will be challenging to stir up demand."

    It remains unclear whether customers are prepared to pay $80 a month for the service, which Verizon Wireless initially is targeting at businesses. The so-called 3G plans of cellphone operators are being challenged by the growing popularity of the technology known as Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity, which enables wireless access to the Internet at very fast speeds, typically over a range of a few hundred feet. It is often free or paid per use. That battle is expected to become more heated with the introduction of a new technology called Wi-Max, which has a range of several miles.

    In an apparent reaction to the proliferation of Wi-Fi in airports, Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. and Britain's Vodafone Group PLC, said it also would offer the service in several airports, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Orlando, Fla., and Phoenix.

    The carrier's service is available only through cards that slide into laptops, but Verizon Wireless has said it plans to sell hand-held PDAs that include the higher-speed capabilities.

    A report issued last week by Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. analyst Brian Modoff raised questions about Verizon Wireless's EV-DO offerings. Mr. Modoff tested the service in San Diego and Las Vegas and found average speeds of less than half of those claimed by the carrier.

    Verizon Wireless also offers EV-DO in Washington, D.C. As of Monday, markets covered by Verizon Wireless's new network include Baltimore; Philadelphia; Wilmington, Del.; Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Tampa, Fla.; Milwaukee; Kansas City, Mo.; Austin, Texas, and cities in New Jersey.

    Write to Jesse Drucker at jesse.drucker@wsj.com1
    Last edited by ghileman; 09/23/2004 at 02:34 PM.
    Off to iPhone land...

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