Wireless Advances

McKean, Kevin
May 2004
InfoWorld;5/10/2004, Vol. 26 Issue 19, p8
Trade Publication
This article presents the author's views on technological advances concerning wireless communication in the U.S. as of May 2004. More than 160 million Americans now use cell phones. We're all accustomed to seeing mobile callers weave down the expressway, yak obviously on the sidewalk, and take calls in the middle of meetings, movies, and even live performances. With wireless voice communication now so commonplace, you have to wonder why wireless data is still a relative novelty. Although 3G is slowly becoming a reality in other parts of the globe, North Americans still struggle with spotty coverage, dropped connections, and data rates that would have seemed whizzy in 1989. On the carrier side, Verizon is investing heavily in evolution, data optimized or evolution data only, the next generation wireless technology that delivers data at rates from 300 kilobits per second to 600 kilobits per second. Global system for mobile communications carriers AT&T Wireless, Cingular, and T-Mobile have been rolling out edge technology that reaches 100 kilobits per second to 130 kilobits per second, with even faster speeds on the way. And while Cingular executives say they cannot discuss details of their $41 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless unit it gains regulatory approval, they do see huge opportunity, even for Cingular on its own.


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