• United States

AT&T Wireless launches EDGE service

Nov 18, 20032 mins
AT&TCellular NetworksEnterprise Applications

LAS VEGAS – Mobile phone operator AT&T Wireless Services began offering services on its EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) network Tuesday, promising higher data transfer speeds than any of its competitors with a national network.

The EDGE upgrade on its network allows users to transfer data with average speeds of between 100K bit/sec and 130K bit/sec, up to twice as fast as rival Sprint PCS on its “so-called 3G” service and three times faster than wired dial-up, AT&T Wireless executives said in a news conference at the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas.

The ability to provide connections faster than 100K bit/sec is key to business users, said John Zeglis, chairman and CEO of AT&T Wireless. “We have broken the speed barrier and we believe we have a distinct advantage in attracting and retaining customers.”

The AT&T Wireless EDGE service is available across the U.S. where AT&T Wireless offers Global System for Mobile Communications and General Packet Radio Service coverage, Zeglis said. Further expansion is planned, including in Canada where Rogers AT&T Wireless is upgrading its network, he said.

Limited-use subscription plans for the EDGE service start at $20 and go up to $60, where the user gets a 40M-byte data transfer allowance, said Andre Dahan, president of mobile multimedia services at AT&T Wireless. An unlimited data transfer plan costs $80 monthly, he said.

Together with the service launch, AT&T announced the availability of a PC card for notebook computer users from Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. The card costs $150 when bought with a two-year contract and after an unspecified rebate, AT&T Wireless said in a statement.

“The business for us is really laptop-based. I think we will see mostly laptop adoption in the early phase,” Zeglis said. AT&T Wireless would not give specific targets for the take up of its new service.

Still, in addition to the PC card, AT&T also sells the Nokia 6200 phone with EDGE support. In 2004 more hardware supporting the upgraded network will become available and AT&T Wireless is readying a new mMode plan that will allow users to download more information on the handset, including pictures and video clips, the company said.