Verizon Wireless says that by the end of 2005, customers in every major U.S. metropolitan area will be able to wirelessly connect any laptop, cellphone or PDA at true broadband speeds anywhere in the coverage area.
Already the $80-a-month service is available in San Diego and Washington, D.C., but Verizon is planning to roll out the service by summer in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
“It meets or exceeds any DSL broadband speed,” Verizon Wireless spokesman Howard Waterman told XBiz. “And the pricing is going to be all-you-can-eat.”
Waterman told XBiz that by the end of the year Verizon’s wireless broadband network, called BroadBand Access, will be available to 80 million customers, or a third of its network.
“No one has the speeds for a wireless broadband network like we do,” Waterman said. “We’ve spent $1 billion for the technology and the network.”
Called EV-DO (short for Evolution-Data Optimized), the new Verizon service is based on new cellphone technology that trumps Wi-Fi “hot spots” found in some Starbucks and other public places. The service can also be accessed in a car or on the street.
“It works like any other broadband connection with your web browser and email programs,” said Waterman, who noted the new service will deliver average downstream speeds of between 300 and 500 kilobits per second which is three to five times faster than typical speeds of other Wi-Fi networks.
While the service typically reaches those speeds, Waterman said, the service can achieve peak speeds of more than two megabits a second. Verizon achieves these speeds without compressing, and thus degrading, graphics on the web.
After leaving Verizon’s EV-DO system and going out of coverage range, the modem switches you to slower Internet service speeds of up to 100 kbps. The $80-a-month connectivity charge does not include Verizon’s proprietary modem which costs $149 after rebate.