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Cingular Taps Lucent For High-Speed Wireless Trial

Cingular Wireless said Thursday that it will deploy wireless infrastructure by Lucent Technologies in a trial of high-speed 3G service scheduled to begin this summer.

The trial will be run in Atlanta using a UMTS network and will include tests of High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSPDA). That technology, Cingular claims, eventually will support data speeds of 14.4 Mbps. In the trial, however, testers will use PC cards that support speeds only as high as 384 Kbps.

"This trial offers us an ideal opportunity to evaluate the capabilities and range of services that we can offer to our customers using UMTS and HSDPA technology, and overcome technical challenges before pursuing broader deployments," Kris Rinne, Cingular's acting chief technical officer said in a statement.

The president of Cingular said earlier this week that he didn't expect his company to widely deploy fast 3G service until 2006, citing a lack of available infrastructure equipment. Verizon Wireless has started rolling out its fast wireless service, 1xEV-DO nationwide and says the rollout will be completed in about a year.