The Mobile Observer
Sign up today for our weekly newsletter, providing unique, in-depth coverage of mobile technologies.
Emergence of 3G Services in the United States
Verizon's expanded delivery of 3G CDMA2000 EV-DO services, following its late-2003 initial deployment in Washington, DC, and San Diego, signaled the emergence of high-speed carrier-based data services as a mainstream service offering. Now covering a potential population of 75 million users, almost a third of the company's total cellular coverage footprint, EV-DO offers a near-broadband user experience, with downstream TCP/IP throughput in excess of 500 kilobits per second.
The delivery of EV-DO is not only significant for current and future Verizon customers, it also has forced the hand of competitors, who can't afford to let Verizon capture market share for what the industry hopes will be a lucrative market--one that will deliver higher profits at a time of eroding voice revenues. AT&T Wireless followed suit by delivering UMTS data services, the 3G service strategy embraced by GSM carriers. While not as fast as EV-DO, UMTS is a credible high-speed offering that presents a clear migration path to even faster services. The acquisition of AT&T Wireless by Cingular provides the combined company with the additional resources and spectrum to push this network nationwide. Cingular has announced its intention to do so in 2006. Finally, Sprint, which recently merged with Nextel, also has indicated its intention to deliver EV-DO services in 2005.