Verizon Wireless on Monday announced the launch of a high-speed wireless network in select areas of the United States.
The Express Network is initially available on the East coast from Portland, Maine to Norfolk, Va., in the San Francisco Bay area, and in Salt Lake City in time for the winter Olympic games.
Running on 1XRTT technology, the Express Network is technically capable of speeds of up to 144 Kbps, but customers should expect average speeds of between 40 and 60Kpbs, said officials at Verizon in Bedminster, N.J.
While so-called 3G, or third generation, networks originally were designed for high-speed data services on a handset, Verizon initially is marketing its services for laptop computers.
Express customers can use one of two new products to connect their laptops to 3G networks. The Sierra Wireless AirCard 555 modem, which costs $299, adds voice, circuit-switched data and short messaging service capabilities to a laptop. The Verizon Wireless 2235 handset, made by Kyocera Inc., connects to a laptop to act as a modem. As a phone, it includes voice-activated dialing, a WAP browser, electronic games, two-way text messaging, and predictive text-input software. It retails for $79.99.
The Express Network service is available to any customer with a monthly digital voice calling plan of $35 or more, and will cost an additional $30 on top of that.
Verizon Wireless is also partnering with Accenture to market various mobile enterprise applications offered by the Accenture Mobile Service Bureau.