AT&T Wireless Launches High-Speed Wireless Data Service

AT&T Wireless believes its EDGE service, with average data rates of 100K to 130K bps, will be the "knockout punch" that will help it keep its customers while gaining new ones.

LAS VEGAS—AT&T Wireless Services Inc. on Tuesday launched its next-generation high-speed wireless data service across North America.

The EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution) offers average data rates of 100K to 130K bps, according to company officials in Redmond, Wash.

"With EDGE we believe we have a distinct advantage in attracting and keeping customers, especially the business customer," said John Zeglis, chairman and CEO of AT&T Wireless at a press conference at Comdex here, adding that the EDGE rollout should be the "knockout punch" that helps the company keep existing customers and gain new ones after wireless number portability goes into effect next week.

/zimages/5/28571.gifRead "Carriers Unprepared for Wireless Number Portability Deadline."

The service is now available to customers who live in areas that up until now have been served by the companys GSM/GPRS network.

There are a variety of data plans for the new service, including an unlimited plan for $79.99 per month.

The company also introduced the Sony-Ericsson GC-82 modem card, which runs in notebook computers. The card costs $149.99, after a rebate, for customers who sign up for a two-year contract.

The service also will work on EDGE phones, including Nokia Corp.s 3200 models and Motorola Inc.s T725.