Cingular Wireless has begun the deployment of its 3G network. It will use HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology, a faster evolution of GSM/EDGE, to offer average mobile data connection speeds between 400-700Kbps. The original deployment covers Austin (TX.), Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland (OR.), Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA.), Seattle, Tacoma (Wash.) and Washington D.C.
Currently, it is offered through a laptop modem card, Cingular’s Communication Manager software and a Data Connect plan but support for additional devices will be rolled out in 2006.
Customers can purchase either a Sierra Wireless AC860 or Novatel U730 laptop modem card for $99.99, after rebate, when they sign up for a qualifying voice plan and introductory two-year $59.99 Unlimited Data Connect plan. A variety of monthly data plans are available starting at $19.99 for 5 MB.