Next month Cingular will begin offering customers a one-stop shopping experience for global wireless broadband service. Cingular GlobalConnect features unlimited domestic data usage on the company's BroadbandConnect and EDGE networks in the United States and 100MB of wireless data usage on networks throughout Asia and Europe. The company will also provide customers with a single LaptopConnect card that connects to multiple wireless data networks in 95 countries. One device. One rate plan. Global coverage.
Cingular GlobalConnect will feature the Option GlobeTrotter GT MAX LaptopConnect card, the first commercially available global 3G device of its kind. The card is a tri-band (850/1900/2100 MHz) UMTS/HSDPA (Universal Mobile Telephone System/High Speed Downlink Packet Access) device that has a unique retractable antenna design, making it the world's first UMTS/HSDPA data card that doesn't need to be removed from the notebook computer during transport. The card uses Cingular's Communication Manager to access HSDPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS cellular networks and public/private Wi-Fi networks.
Cingular GlobalConnect will offer two international wireless data usage plans -- a North American plan ($109.99 for 100MB) for travel within Canada and Mexico, and an Overseas ($139.99 for 100MB) plan. Both plans include unlimited data usage on Cingular's domestic data networks. These plans will give mobile professionals unprecedented ability to use their laptops to access applications, e-mail and perform other tasks while traveling within the U.S. and abroad. The Overseas plan will provide access in more than two dozen countries, with service planned to be offered in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Spain and other major areas in Asia and Europe. With 45 countries currently offering UMTS service, Cingular expects to provide 3G data roaming capability in additional countries throughout the year.
"The need for broadband connections continues to move from our offices and living rooms to almost anywhere in the world," said Kris Rinne, chief technology officer for Cingular Wireless. "As more GSM carriers upgrade to UMTS and HSDPA, we see ourselves becoming the travel agents for 3G worldwide."
When Cingular customers travel outside of 3G UMTS/HSDPA coverage in the United States, the GlobeTrotter GT MAX Laptop Connect card can be used to access the Cingular EDGE network (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) in more than 13,000 cities and towns, and connect to either EDGE or GPRS data service in more than 95 countries worldwide. Customers accessing UMTS services in other countries should expect to receive average download speeds between 200-300kbps, depending on the network accessed.
The Option GlobeTrotter GT MAX LaptopConnect card will be available for $99.99 when customers purchase a two-year unlimited BroadbandConnect contract or a one-year GlobalConnect plan.
Option is showcasing the GlobeTrotter GT MAX LaptopConnect card in its booth at this year's GSM World Congress show this week in Barcelona.