Verizon Wireless Extends 3G Network, Launches Multimedia Service

The carrier unveils a new service that will allow subscribers to access video, music and 3-D games on 3G handsets, and announces plans to expand its 3G network into 12 additional cities.

LAS VEGAS—At the Consumer Electronics Show here, Verizon Wireless on Friday announced the launch of a new 3G wireless multimedia service that will run on Verizons high-speed CDMA EvDO (Code Division Multiple Access Evolution Data Optimized) network.

The new service, called VCAST, will allow users to access video, music and 3-D games on new 3G handsets, said officials with the Bedminster, N.J., company.

Verizon demonstrated the new service on LG Mobile Phones new VX8000 flip phone at the show. The VX8000 can stream music and video over Verizons network, and it includes a built-in 1.3-megapixel camera. Additional handsets from Samsung Telecommunications America and UTStarcom Personal Communications will also be available in February, officials said.

VCAST, available Feb. 1, will cost $15 per month on top of a calling plan. The service will include access to 300 daily updated videos from content providers such as MTV Networks, as well as access to Verizon Wireless Mobile Web 2.0 news and information service. Premium content, such as 3-D games, is available for additional cost.

Verizon also announced at the show that it will expand its 3G network into 12 additional cities: Boston; Chicago; Cincinnati; Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Hartford and New Haven, Conn.; Houston; Jacksonville and Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix; and Providence, R.I. /zimages/3/95432.jpg

The 3G network currently covers about 75 million users, or one-third of Verizons network, but by the end of 2005, the company plans to extend the 3G network to cover 150 million users.

Verizon also offers a service over its 3G network that is tailored for business users. The service, BroadbandAccess, allows business users to access e-mail, corporate data and the Internet on mobile devices at speeds up to 300 to 500K bps in the coverage area.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about Verizons initiatives to make its enterprise wireless services more secure and easier to manage.

Verizon licenses the EvDO technology from Qualcomm Inc., and Lucent Technologies Inc. and Nortel Networks Ltd. provide the wireless infrastructure technology for the 3G network.

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