AT&T Wireless is on track to deploy UMTS networks in four markets and is working with several leading device manufacturers to give customers access to 3G wireless services later this year.
Today at the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association trade show, AT&T Wireless announced that Motorola, NEC and Nokia will deliver multimedia handsets for use on its 3G UMTS network later this year. The new camera phones offer a variety of features including messaging services, games, WAP 2.0 xHTML, JAVA, and video applications, such as capture, download and playback. Some phones also provide international voice roaming, an MP3 player, and video streaming.
"Our UMTS service will turn these markets into giant 'hot spots,' providing customers with connection speeds rivaling those of some broadband services," said Rod Nelson, chief technology officer for AT&T Wireless. "With the support of our vendors, we're on schedule to deliver 3G services before the end of the year."
AT&T Wireless said the UMTS network equipment purchased from Ericsson and Nortel late last year is already deployed in hundreds of cell sites in each of the target markets. Network testing with the handsets is already underway, with early results indicating data speeds comparable to those provided by European carriers.
The devices mentioned above will be commercially available in San Francisco, Seattle and two other markets later this year.
Currently, with wireless data speeds averaging 100-130kbps, AT&T Wireless EDGE service offers customers the fastest national wireless data connections. EDGE is available to 220 million people living in more than 6,500 cities and towns across the country.