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T-Mobile USA: No 3G Data For Two Years

T-Mobile USA doesn't plan to offer 3G UMTS data services for two years, a situation that will place the cell phone service provider behind its other rivals in the United States.

In the interim, T-Mobile plans to begin selling its EDGE data service, according to the Reuters news service, which covered the comments of the firm's CEO Robert Dotson and CFO Brian Kirkpatrick at a CSFB investor conference. T-Mobile, which is the fourth largest U.S. wireless provider, is a unit of Deutsche Telekom.

The largest wireless company " Cingular Wireless " began installing EDGE data service earlier this year through its AT&T Wireless unit. The second-largest U.S. cell phone provider is Verizon Wireless, which is in the process of rolling out its high-speed BroadbandAccess across its U.S. territory. BroadbandAccess, based on Qualcomm's CDMA technology, is an order of magnitude faster that EDGE.

The third largest player in the mobile data sweepstakes is Sprint, which recently announced it is investing some $3 billion in Qualcomm's high speed data service.

"Catching up is a relative term," said Michael Voellinger, wireless vice president at Telwares. "Voice is still the primary revenue driver in wireless. Data (speeds) may be important in 18 months." Voellinger expects to see cellular providers introduce many different content and applications once the data nets are in place.

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