AT&T Wireless today began offering the fastest national mobile wireless data service in North America, enabling businesses to improve productivity by unwiring their operations and providing mobile professionals unmatched coverage and speed.
AT&T Wireless took center stage at COMDEX as it announced the availability of EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution), a significant upgrade to its Next Generation wireless network. EDGE offers average data speeds between 100-130 kbps -- nearly twice as fast as other national mobile wireless networks and up to three times faster than traditional wired dial-up services.
"EDGE gives customers a much-enhanced wireless experience, providing data speeds dramatically faster than 'so-called' 3G services offered by other wireless companies," said John Zeglis, Chairman and CEO of AT&T Wireless. "It boosts the efficiency of a business' work force by giving mobile employees fast and easy access to the same business applications they have in their office. EDGE speeds will make it simpler for people to be as productive when they are on the go as they are in their home or office.
"With EDGE, our customers now have access to the fastest national mobile wireless connections and advanced services in North America. That puts us way ahead of the wireless pack, and it gives business customers another compelling reason to be with AT&T Wireless."
AT&T Wireless said the combination of EDGE's fast data connections, enterprise offers, and unlimited data plan will give businesses a distinct advantage over their competitors.
EDGE service is now available nationally to customers located in areas served by the AT&T Wireless GSM/GPRS Next Generation network, covering approximately 215 million people, some 6,500 cities and towns and areas along more than 30,000 miles of major highways. The company is offering EDGE in Puerto Rico and Bermuda, and plans to deploy EDGE throughout its properties in the Caribbean in the near future. In addition, Rogers AT&T Wireless has added EDGE capability in the Greater Vancouver area and will deploy EDGE throughout its Canada-wide network beginning next year. The combined networks provide AT&T Wireless customers across North America with access to high-speed, multi-functional services when they travel.
AT&T Wireless said that business customers can use the EDGE network to access information where they can place a phone call on the company's Next Generation network. Additionally, AT&T Wireless' WiFi service complements the company's EDGE network by offering customers wireless data connections when inside local "hot spots."
Cutting EDGE Devices and Service Plans
AT&T Wireless also introduced the new Sony-Ericsson GC-82 modem card which provides average download connections of 100-130 kbps, with speed bursts of up to 200 kbps when used on the AT&T Wireless EDGE network. For customers traveling outside the EDGE coverage area, the modem operates at GPRS speeds offered by AT&T Wireless affiliates and roaming partners in the United States. Business customers signing up for a two-year contract can purchase the EDGE modem card for $149.99, after rebate.
"Today's business environment demands continuous productivity, and mobile professionals need a reliable means to download attachments and large data files while on the go," said Andre Dahan, president of AT&T Wireless Mobile Multimedia Services. "Only EDGE provides them with the speed and coverage they demand. To succeed in a fast-paced world, employees must be able to access information quickly that is critical to performing their jobs and serving customers. By getting an unlimited wireless data plan on the EDGE network at the same monthly price they've been paying for GPRS, our customers will realize a price-performance value up to four times better than GPRS and roughly twice that of our competition's offers."
AT&T Wireless offers a variety of wireless data plans to meet the needs of today's customers. The company's unlimited data plan lets businesses with employees who are heavy data users take full advantage of the wireless data speeds of the EDGE network without worrying about connection costs. The unlimited data plan is priced at $79.99 a month.
For businesses, EDGE improves mobile worker productivity by providing fast, mobile and secure mobile access to email, attachments, corporate networks, Intranets, business applications, and the Internet. Employees can quickly view attachments such as spreadsheets, graphic presentations and text documents anywhere on the EDGE wireless network - without sacrificing the familiar applications they use on their laptop.
In addition to the wireless modem card, customers can use the Nokia 6200 EDGE phone for wireless laptop connectivity. In the next few months, customers will also have the option of purchasing additional EDGE phones, including the Motorola T725 and Nokia 3200 models. These phones offer some of the most advanced services and features available, including the ability to send and receive e-mail and fast access to AT&T Wireless' mMode entertainment and information services.
Beginning in 2004, AT&T Wireless said customers can expect EDGE devices from a number of leading manufacturers including Motorola, NEC, Nokia, palmOne, Research In Motion (RIM), Samsung, Siemens, Sony-Ericsson and others. Additionally, AT&T Wireless is working with a network of leading technology companies to establish an EDGE "ecosystem" in the areas of chip manufacturing, computer distribution, system integration, application development, virtual private networking, and vertical markets solutions.
Getting to the EDGE
The launch of EDGE, which is a true "3G" technology as certified by the International Telecommunications Association, completes the second phase of AT&T Wireless' 3G network architecture strategy. Using the same spectrum as its GSM/GPRS network, EDGE is a cost-effective software upgrade that further compresses how data is transmitted. At less than $2.00 per POP, the company said that the upgrade was highly cost effective.
"Along with significant benefits for our customers, GSM's evolution path enables us to turn the hype surrounding 3G into a reality," said Rod Nelson, chief technology officer for AT&T Wireless. "The EDGE experience doesn't disappoint - it truly lives up to the potential surrounding 3G services."
Additionally, international carriers outside North America are also deploying EDGE. According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, an industry trade group, support for EDGE continues to grow around the world, with more than 60 wireless carriers committed to network deployments including Telia Sonera in Finland, Telecom Italia Mobile in Italy and CSL in Hong Kong.
For more information on AT&T Wireless EDGE services, customers can call 1 888 DATA 288, stop by an AT&T Wireless store, or visit: