• United States
by Steve Taylor and Larry Hettick

Verizon’s 3G service comes through at ComNet

Feb 02, 20042 mins
Cellular NetworksNetworkingVerizon

* Larry saved by Verizon’s 3G wireless service after outage at ComNet show

This week, we’ll be discussing some Verizon services, starting with Larry’s experience with Verizon’s 3G, or third generation, wireless service.

While preparing for his tutorial at ComNet last week, Larry was using the Washington Convention Center’s in-house wireline 10M bit/sec Ethernet connection to download e-mail and do a bit of research on the Web. Much to his irritation (and the irritation of several others) the building’s Ethernet switch chose that moment to die, killing Larry’s connection to the network.

The good news was that the convention center has 802.11 wireless connectivity that Larry could have used as a backup; the bad news was that it cost $25 a day.

As luck would have it, Larry was sitting next to a Lucent representative who offered Larry his 3G wireless card. Lucent sponsored the Internet Café at ComNet, offering broadband connections to the Internet over the Verizon 3G network. Larry accepted Lucent’s offer to try out the Verizon service.

After a quick download of card-driver software, Larry slipped the CDMA card into his laptop and within seconds was connected to the Internet. The average connection speed was 400K bit/sec, providing response time near the speed Larry enjoys with his cable modem at home. Peak speeds approached 2M bit/sec.

One great part about the Verizon plan is the pricing – $80 monthly access includes unlimited Verizon Wireless NationalAccess and BroadbandAccess service. And the mobility is also very good. Larry tried out the service for several days, and found the only “dead spot” was in the elevators, similar to what you would expect from any cellular device.

Of course, enterprise users can use the Internet to connect to their VPN. According to Verizon, the “CDMA technology provides authentication and data protection and is compatible with many Virtual Private Networks.”

Sure beats dial-up – and sure beats paying $25 a day for wireless Ethernet.

Next time, we’ll talk about Verizon’s DSL, voice and wireless services.