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Verizon Completes Next-Gen 3G Tests

Verizon Wireless said Thursday it and Lucent technologies have completed what they claim are the first calls using next-generation 3G service.

Verizon is already installing 1xEV-DO city throughout its network, which delivers typical speeds of between 300 Kbps and 500 Kbps. The companies said Thursday, though, that it has completed tests on the next-generation of that technology, called 1xEV-DO Revision A, which theoretic speeds of as much as 3.1 Mbps and expected typical speeds of about 1 Mbps.

Verizon did not say when it would fully upgrade to "Rev A," but it did say it planned to start field trials early next year. Lucent has said that its equipment supporting the technology will be available later in 2006.

Besides Verizon, Sprint is the other U.S. carrier that uses EV-DO cellular data technology. Sprint has just started deploying its EV-DO network and hasn't commented on when it will upgrade to Revision A.

However, Cingular, which uses GSM-based systems as opposed to Verizon and Sprint's CDMA systems, has said it expects to launch 3G service early next year and will upgrade to its next generation, called HSDPA, roughly a year after that.