Verizon Wireless delivered the future of wireless today from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas when senior Verizon Wireless executives announced the company is launching VCAST - the nation's first third-generation (3G) wireless multimedia service for consumers - beginning February 1, 2005. VCAST will bring high- quality video, 3-D games and music straight to new 3G phones that will run on the Verizon Wireless broadband EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) 3G network, delivering the fastest, most widely-available fully-mobile wireless data experience in the nation today.
Starting February 1, Verizon Wireless customers will be able to use new handsets to access VCAST's video on-demand service, viewing current news, weather, sports and entertainment programming. They will also be able to download and play cutting-edge three-dimensional games on powerful new handsets. Customers will also be able to watch music videos and short programs specifically designed for mobile phones and other video applications on their handsets.
When the service is available on February 1, customers can expect video and games from a variety of familiar and popular sources, such as MTV Networks' VH1 and Comedy Central brands. A relationship with News Corp. and 20th Century Fox will bring Verizon Wireless customers hot exclusive programs - "24: Conspiracy," "Sunset Hotel" and "Love & Hate" - specifically designed for mobile phones. A broad offering of content will also be available from NBC, including newscasts made exclusively for mobile phones.
VCAST will be accessed through the award-winning Get It Now(R) virtual store found on Verizon Wireless handsets.
EV-DO 3G Network Expansion
VCAST runs on the Verizon Wireless 3G EV-DO network, which began commercial operation in October 2003 in San Diego and Washington, D.C. The Verizon Wireless 3G EV-DO network initially launched commercially with BroadbandAccess wireless Internet access service for business customers and mobile professionals. BroadbandAccess boasts average user speeds of 300-500 kilobits per second (kbps), and enables users to remain productive and connected whether they're at home, a meeting across town or on the road. BroadbandAccess customers can connect via laptop to the Internet, corporate intranet, email and attachments all at high speed.
In addition to 20 previously launched metropolitan areas, the company today announced 12 additional markets: Chicago; Houston; Boston; Phoenix; Cincinnati; Orlando; Columbus and Dayton, OH; Providence, RI; Jacksonville, FL; Hartford and New Haven, CT. Major expansions have been made in many existing 3G markets, including New York City; Newark, NJ; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Miami, Tampa and West Palm Beach, FL; Baltimore, MD; Kansas City, MO; and Milwaukee, WI areas.
"Today, another promise," said Dick Lynch, Verizon Wireless executive vice president and chief technical officer. "We will deploy our 3G network - our BroadbandAccess and VCAST service areas - to cover 150 million Americans by the end of 2005."
Lucent Technologies and Nortel Networks have provided wireless infrastructure technology for the Verizon Wireless 3G network, and EV-DO technology is licensed from QUALCOMM.
For $15.00 monthly access in addition to their regular Verizon Wireless calling plan, VCAST customers get unlimited access to a wide array of more than 300 daily updated videos from leading content providers. Verizon Wireless VCAST customers also receive unlimited browsing of Verizon Wireless' Mobile Web 2.0 news and information service. In addition, customers can choose from premium content, available for an additional cost, that includes 3-D games, music videos and other premium channels.
VCAST's array of hot new multimedia programming is located in the Get It Now virtual store - customers can access video from favorite news, sports and entertainment providers in the getFLIX shopping aisle and check out new cutting-edge 3-D games in the getGAMES aisle. VCAST also gives customers unlimited access to browse and view applications in the other familiar Get It Now shopping aisles - such as getTONES and getGOING.
At launch, customers will be able to access VCAST on three hot new phones, from LG Mobile Phones, Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung) and UTStarcom Personal Communications. The featured phone is the new LG VX8000 phone - with its full-motion video with audio downloading and playback capabilities, the LG VX8000 offers customers a rich and rewarding interactive experience. The LG VX8000 also features a 1.3 mega-pixel camera with 10X digital zoom and embedded flash. Customers can capture 15-second videos and still photos and send them to other Verizon Wireless customers with video messaging-capable phones or any e-mail address.