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Verizon Starts Fast Wireless Network Expansion

Verizon Wireless Wednesday started expansion of its next-generation 1xEV-DO wireless voice and data service by launching the service in Las Vegas.

The company announced earlier this year that it would begin expanding the service this summer and would complete the expansion in most major U.S. cities by the end of 2005. The service provides wireless data access speeds of between 300 Kbps and 500 Kbps.

The service, which the company calls BroadbandAccess, was previously available in the Washington D.C. and San Diego areas and Las Vegas is the first additional expansion.

The company said it would continue adding the service to metropolitan areas in the U.S. but gave no details about which markets it would expand into first. The company has priced the service at about $80 per month if users sign up for a one or two year contract.

The service requires currently requires use of a PC card for laptops, which costs about $150 after a rebate. The company said that smartphones that support the service will be available later this year or early next year.