Thursday, January 6, 2005

Verizon Wireless Launches 3G Consumer Services

Verizon Wireless will launch its 'VCAST" 3G wireless multimedia service for consumers -- beginning February 1, 2005. VCAST will run over the company's broadband EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) 3G network, delivering high-quality video, 3-D games and music to new 3G phones. Verizon Wireless is featuring handsets from LG Mobile Phones, Samsung and UTStarcom Personal Communications.

Customers will be able to use new handsets to access VCAST's video on-demand service for current news, weather, sports and entertainment programming. They will also be able to download and play three-dimensional games. Verizon Wireless will charge $15.00 for monthly access in addition to a regular Verizon Wireless calling plan, VCAST customers get unlimited access to about 300 daily updated videos. Initial content providers include VH1, Comedy Central, News Corp. and 20th Century Fox. Programs are being specifically designed for the mobile phones. A broad offering of content will also be available from NBC, including newscasts made exclusively for mobile phones.

Verizon Wireless's 3G EV-DO network began commercial operation in October 2003 in San Diego and Washington, D.C. offering wireless Internet access service for business customers at average user speeds of 300-500 kbps. In addition to 20 previously launched metropolitan areas, the company also announced 12 additional markets: Chicago; Houston; Boston; Phoenix; Cincinnati; Orlando; Columbus and Dayton, OH; Providence, RI; Jacksonville, FL; Hartford and New Haven, CT. Major expansions have been made in many existing 3G markets, including New York City; Newark, NJ; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Miami, Tampa and West Palm Beach, FL; Baltimore, MD; Kansas City, MO; and Milwaukee, WI areas.


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