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Verizon High Speed Wireless 113

TheSync writes: "Wired News has an article about Verizon's surprise announcement of "Express Network," a wireless data service with a speed of 144 kbps. Handsets to support the service could be sold as early as next week, and Emblaze Systems is already testing wireless video on Verizon's Philadelphia network." I'm sure it will work just as well as Verizon's cell service does now.
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Verizon High Speed Wireless

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  • Yes! And its uptime will be even better than its DSL, all the way up to 60%! And it'll have more features, like maybe even static IP built in!
  • Uh.. so.. (Score:1, Troll)

    by windex ( 92715 )
    I'm sure it will work just as well as Verizon's cell service does now.

    So it won't work? Damn Verizon and their vaporware! At least they figured out how to screw people out of real money with it.

    • Re:Uh.. so.. (Score:1, Redundant)

      by alen ( 225700 )
      "I'm sure it will work just as well as Verizon's cell service does now."

      I don't know where you live, but here in NYC Verizon is the best cell carrier out of the bunch. Only time I've ever had a busy signal was on Sept 11th, and I get a signal almost everywhere I go. Unlike ATT, Sprint and Nextel around here.
      • Its their internet access that sucks. Take a look at and see for yourself.
        • I've used their DSL, and it did suck, but it sucked intentionally.

          First of all, they use PPP over ethernet. Conscious decision, but PPPoE sucks as far as client implementations.

          Secondly, they would disconnect me whenever I received incomming HTTP (and certain other) connections. It took me a long time to figure out that that was what was causing the disconnections. Once I stopped accepting incomming connections, I had nearly flawless service.

        • I beg to differ. My service, for the most part,
          has been quite good. Sure my bandwith isn't as
          high as I'd like it to be, and their decision to
          use PPoE is limiting optionwise; but over the last
          two-and-a-half years, my service has been pretty

          As far as their wireles is concerned, I can also
          say that the only time I've ever had problems was
          9/11. And even then, my cellphone was working
          about an hour after the towers fell.
      • Yeah, knock Verizon for everything but Wireless.

        I couldn't believe it either. I've had Sprint and AT&T and I just kind of lived with the fact that cells suck. Three different people told me to go with Verizon Wireless because they were sick of my bitching.

        I've never had problems since. I get service -everywhere- in NYC. Never seen it drop below 3 bars except in the obvious places (sub-basements, etc). It still doesn't sit right with me since Verizon sucks at absolutely everything else. This is something they do right.

    • I have Verizon Wireless service and I've rarely had an issue with their mobile service, except for their "Mobile Web" connectivity. It truly sucks!

      About 80% of the time when I attempt to connect (usually to pull local movie showing times) I fail to get through to the service. I am forever sitting with a "Connecting......." status until I quit. The local paper doesn't carry the times during the weekdays, so I have to phone the damn recording to get the times. What a pain!

      But you can't beat their voice. They have a regional plan that allows me to roam anywhere in the multi state region free (it's all my home calling area), which is right up my alley due to my traveling. Hardly ever have a problem getting through.

  • by shankark ( 324928 )
    maybe, they should stop calling themselves Wired.
  • Oh come on, with their excellent reputation for high quality, and showing that they care about the customer - who wouldn't be first in line to get their services? Oh wait, M$ fits this description better than verizon. Nevermind.
    • Ha ha ha. You used "M$" in a topic completely unrelated with anything to do with Microsoft. You are so funny.

      Mod parent to "+5, Slashdot Groupthink" or "-1, Pathetic Asshole"
    • Oh, please. No matter how bad Verizon could be, Ameritech is far worse. Only Ameritech could be sued by almost every state they do business in!

      Besides, Verizon Wireless is the one part of that company that doesn't suck. Unlike Sprint...
  • Fix stuff first (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Papa Legba ( 192550 ) on Sunday January 27, 2002 @11:03AM (#2909522)
    "I'm sure it will work just as well as Verizon's cell service does now."

    Why is it that companies insist on rolling out new "services" when they never got their old services working correctly. is doing this now by telling us all that we are going to go really fast real soon, ignorring the fact that most people can barely get online and hold times for customer service are almost 2 hours.

    The reason is pure greed. To make their existing products work they would have to spend money on infrastructure and upgrades. A new service is mostly marketting and great launch parties. New serices make a CEO look good to the stock holder while hiding the fact that their network is held together by Duct tape and sneaker nets. I say boycott this crap, I have told a cox rep at my work to his face that I did not feel good about installing a T3 from them because my home service was so bogged down, telling me their network sucks.

    It's time we let corporations know that we want the old stuff to work correctly before we will buy their new crap. Send a message that poor service and flawed products are not the way to win us over.

    • Re:Fix stuff first (Score:2, Informative)

      by zuvembi ( 30889 )
      Excuse me?

      You will never be on hold for two hours calling Verizon Wireless {1}, generally your hold time is under 90 seconds.

      As to the network, we have the best network in the US (this is using our own testing and independent nationwide testing). And we are constantly working on improving it.

      And remember, we have nothing to do with Verizon Landline (totally different companies, not a single worker or executive in common as far as I know).

      {1} I work for Verizon Wireless.
      • Couple of rebuttal points.

        1. If you re-read you will notice that I was referring to at the point I mentioned two hour holds, not verizon.

        2. If verizon wireless is so great, as you claim, why is the rest of this forum section filled with people agreeing to the sloppy customer service and down times, including the article that leads it off.

        3. National tests may show that you are the best in the US, which makes you cream del la crud. US wireless is some of the worst in the world. For the amount of coverage garaunteed the customer the amount of dead spots and cut offs is ridiculous. try traveling to japan or europe. You can travel around bucharest all day by car and never ever lose signal. I lose singal twice just driving ten miles to work in my major city.
    • Cox cable modem in San Diego has been awesome for me, 2500kbps downloads, one day wait for installation, etc.

      The transition to was trivial (change my email from to, reboot my airport to get a new dhcp address.

      Of course, YMMV.
  • My flatmate owns a laptop with some 802.11 (?) technology in it with which he can connect wirelessly on the University of Twente Campus (CS building)... he can get 500KB per second and the idea is that this kind of access will become available throughout the whole campus...

    I then wonder, why is it so amazing that someone invents a 144 kbps connection when we already have the technology to go 500KB per second... the card my flatmate uses is a typical small network connection card and I can't imagine that it is too big to fit into a mobile phone???
    • Well, you can bet that you won't need to have a NAP every 1500 yards or so :-)

      This is definitely coming off of existing cell phone towers. Those are very far apart (less maintenance costs, etc.)


      • Aaack.... Cell phone service sucks enough as it is, I don't want any more bandwidth taken from my cell phone. I went thru like 3 different carriers and they all suck. Verizon sucks the worst, because they lost my payment, then I brought a receipt, and they took it for "Research"... Then they claimed I never gave them a receipt. It took a call to BBB and State Attorney General to get them to "find" my payment. Granted, they were Air Touch at the time, but I've stayed away from them ever since... One time with a friend, their so called "reliable" service wouldn't connect my 911 call during when my friend needed help. I tried about ten times, but none of them would go through. And I was in the middle of suburbia, where I normally have excellent coverage. I had to go pounding on doors to dial 911. One guy's wife was on the phone, so we used his cell phone, and it crapped out too... It took me like 5+ minutes just to get a 911 call to go through, which was eventually by a land-line...

        I say no-thanks to Verizon Wireless Internet...
    • Well, 802.11x and "High-speed wireless" are different technologies with different goals. 802.11x targets users that aren't necessarily moving around that much, and is not that secure (image is of laptop at home, it's nice outside, so you wander out on the porch or backyard)

      With "High-speed wireless" the idea is to use the existing cellular network and provide data access.

      Oh, and the 144kbps? Don't count on it! They should say 144kbps aggregate bandwidth for the cell shared among all users on that cell. It's a typical marketing scam. Saw this at a trade show, and when I asked more detailed questions, the whole sales pitch fell apart.
  • Bad cell service? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alen ( 225700 ) on Sunday January 27, 2002 @11:06AM (#2909529)
    "I'm sure it will work just as well as Verizon's cell service does now."

    I don't know where you live, but here in NYC Verizon is the best cell carrier out of the bunch. Only time I've ever had a busy signal was on Sept 11th, and I get a signal almost everywhere I go. Unlike ATT, Sprint and Nextel around here.
    • Same here. I'm in upstate NY, and Verizon has better service than anyone else. I know many people who have switched over to Verizon so that they can actually use their cell outside of their providers office.
      • I'm in Central NY, and Verizon's coverage was pretty good. However, their customer service sucked more than Monica Lewinsky. When I first called to set up my service, they had no idea where Syracuse was, and transferred me to 3 or 4 different call centers before they found someone who knew where I was at. (Most of them apparently don't know that there is more than 1 city in New York State). Later, when I tried to do a market transfer, they started double billing me. It took a few hours of waiting on hold to get that one straightened out.

    • I have to say that Verizon has THE worst customer service I have ever seen. I went to NYC twice, and stayed at the Millenium Hilton (around the corner from Verizon's headquarters) and my phone wouldn't work there - and nobody had any idea what was going on. I even made a pre-emptive phone call to them before the 2nd trip to find out what I had to do to get it to work. They made me change a few settings and behold, I get to new york city - and still nothing. Yeah - great service. Nextel may be more a little more expensive, but I can go to Europe and my phone still works without any changes.
      • Hmmmm, I don't live in NYC...but I go there often and have stayed at The Millenium quite a few my former employer is HQ'd across the street. Service was always bad with ATTWS both in the Millenium as well as most of Manhattan. Once I started using GTE Wireless (and roaming Bell Atlantic mobile/VZW) service problems in Manhattan became a non-issue. I switched the entire NY office of the magazine I worled for off of ATTWS and onto BA, and service complaints from them stopped. --Mike
    • Same here in Virginia. Verizon is THE best carrier. Every time I'm with someone and they can't get cell service, I ask what carrier they have... Then I try my phone. Mine works every single time while it seems every other carrier has problems in some areas.

      At least in this area Verizon wireless is what used to be GTE, which is where I had my original cell service.

      I've only used the customer service a couple times. Once I called to see if they could give me a different rate plan because I was only using 100 minutes a year. They fixed me right up. The other time I had a problem with my call forwarding, and it was solved within minutes. Excellent, if you ask me.
    • Re:Bad cell service? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gh ( 68417 )
      Verizon is known for having excellent wireless service especially the ability to get a signal in more places than the other big wireless players. And this applies to most of the areas they provide service. So, it's not just as NY/NJ or Virginia folks who have had good results with Verizon.

      It makes me wonder if the editor Michael knew anything about Verizon's wireless service or if he was simply taking a pot shot at Verizon because they're Verizon and it's the Slashdot thing to do.

      If people want to bitch about Verizon, bitch in regards to their Internet service or customer service. Unlike their wireless service, there's a lot more problems with those other services.
    • I'll second that. I'm in Indiana. I have a Verizon cell, and a number of my friends have Sprints. While I think Sprint might be a bit cheaper, their coverage is downright lousy compared to Verizon. It's easy to go into roaming with the Spring sometimes just by crossing the street, whereas I've gone into roaming with Verizon exactly once, when I was truly out in the middle of nowhere. I've also never lost a signal, while the Sprint users here seem to lose them reasonably often.

      Verizon may offer poor cell phone service elsewhere, and certainly their customer support can be a royal pain, but at least in Indy and apparently NYC they're one of the best cell carriers available.
    • The part that nobody seems to understand is that, bear with me here,


      This is mandated by federal law because VZ Comm is regulated (DSL, phone service, etc.) and VZ Wireless (formerly BAM, Primeco, GTE, Airtouch) is unregulated.

      THEREFORE, VZ Wireless acts quite differently from its parent company.

      Trust me; I know.
      • In the Seattle, WA area Verizon Wireless has by far the best service. I used to be on Sprint PCS, and most of my friends have AT&T (the worst). So if their wireless data service is as good as their cell sevice, I'd be very interested.
      • Re:Bad cell service? (Score:2, Informative)

        by Manpage ( 544064 )

        Verizon Wireless is a business unit inside of Verizon communications, but it is not a separate company. Look at the Verizon Company Profile [] for more information.

    • I have Verizon (formerly AirTouch) wireless and its generally really good coverage, and digital messaging generally works wherever I am so long as there is digital coverage.

      Does Verizon have a rep for bad coverage? I know they're running these really obnoxious TV spots with the geek in the wilderness.

      I'm was an Airtouch customer, and Airtouch was spun off from US West and was the original 800 Mhz wireline carrier where I live, which may account for the quality of signal (loads of towers, existing infrastructure).

      Are they bad in areas where they have expanded into and didn't have a good existing tower base or relied on roaming agreements?
    • Verizon's coverage in Ohio is fantastic. I definetly have the best service out of any of my friends (AT&T, Sprint, haven't heard Cingular [expensive] or voicestream [supposed to be poor]).

      But thank goodness for Michael's nice and unbiased reporting!
    • Verizon Wireless in Massachusetts is excellent. I switched probably 7 years ago and have rarely been disappointed. I keep looking at other providers in the area, but Verizon's great coverage still beats the others hands down.

      For the past couple of years I also had Nextel service (for work). It wasn't terrible, but it took them a long time to even get around to enabling all the features on my phone. And coworkers had lots of trouble with the coverage area, although in my travels, it was fair. Not nearly as good as Verizon Wireless.

      The snide comment by the editor is uncalled for. I don't mind bashing entities when they deserve it, but that's not the case here. Now, if this was a story about Verizon ...
    • Verizon wireless service is great. The calls are clear, it stays digital more than you would expect, and they have service plans to fit everyone.

      However, I have had reoccurring billing issues and trying to deal with their customer support is hell.
      Here is a little narrative on what happens EVERY time I call:
      You call, you enter you phone number, you wait, you get a human, they ask for you phone number, they tell you that you reached they "insert any call area but yours" and they need to forward you. You are on hold again, rings, they ask for your phone number, they tell you that you reached they "insert any call area but your own", you ask how that can be since the first they you are required to do is enter your phone number, and since the last person verified your calling area and was suppose to route you to the correct place.. they do not say anything, and then say they will route you to your calling area.. you go on hold again... the phone rings, they ask for your phone number.
      Now at this point, if you are lucky, they will ask for you security pin, and then help you (and they are usually pretty good at helping you and crediting the amount in err back to you account), however, it could potentially repeat the first cycle two or three more times. But this call routing gets you to at least three call centers before you reach the correct one. Could just be lazy tech support not wanting to help you so they route you to their cube neighbor. I was told by the local retailer that the call centers are actually all in one building in Chicago, with different departments for the different calling areas. And that when the automated system asks you to enter your number, it should pick your area code and route you to the correct place.
      There is some flaw in their system somewhere, and it is really annoying.
  • by nraju ( 528169 )
    Verizon's introduction definitely will prop up the economy, I feel and with 3G Wireless in the roads for a long time, itis time we introduce some products and become guinea pigs of the new gadgets and use them and improve them. Its highly unrealistic to have high expectations of a very new technology when things will take tens of years to mature. Take the case of the old telephone. We have telephones for past 125 years and we still introduce new features to them. So the case of the point is there will be bugs and yes there will be flames, but we have to adopt and try out new stuffs fast. I think it will be well received ...
    • we have to adopt and try out new stuffs fast

      And why exactly is that? If it's to "prop up the economy" then think again. This is not a consumer driven recession. Personally, I see no market for the things 3G is being touted as bringing to the table, such as video on your cellphone. What I would like to see, and no on is talking about, are 3G modems for PCs so the rest of us can have broadband.
  • 144 kbps isn't that fast, and the service prices would probably be through the roof. If you want wireless in your home you can just buy a wireless router and hook it up to your dsl line. The speed doesn't make it a replacement for dsl, and unless you could somehow replace your cellphone with your computer and some phone software this looks to be pretty expensive each month? On a side note, verizon's dsl for the Philly area was _DOWN_ last weekend! But other than that i would have to call the reliability excellent. We have prob .5 days /month with problems.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Half of the Chicago area is still stuck at 28.8, not 56k, because we're between DSL areas and cable modems aren't available either. If this was available at something near $50/mo I'm sure Verizon would get business here.
    • Who would use this? How about the people that can't get dsl or cable? Or people that want wireless access away from their home? I'd love to be able to get to the internet from my local park.
    • It is twice as fast as a normal dial up connection and will probably be slightly more expensive. If all you want is wireless internet at you house then of course a 802.11 device would be better. However, there are many of us that would like connect our laptops to the internet from more places than our home or office. Right now if I am on the road I either have to connect at 14.4 or use a hotel phone line and pay extra long distance charges at many hotels.
  • info (Score:2, Informative)

    by mknapp905 ( 527716 )
    1X is the term that Verizon Wireless has been calling this service for the last few months (hmmm no g's????) February 1st is when it will be rolled out to the Washington Metro Area, with first sales being PCMCIA cards. This service is being promoted locally as having a 70kbps average connection. It should definitely help all the truely mobile users getting CDMA speeds of 14.4 to 19.2 kbps!!!
    • Re:info (Score:5, Informative)

      by Smitty825 ( 114634 ) on Sunday January 27, 2002 @12:29PM (#2909717) Homepage Journal
      Although I don't live in that area, it doesn't suprise me that they are using the term "1x" What they are actually referring to is "CDMA 2000-1XEV". The "EV" stands for "Enhanced Voice". It has a maximum data capability of 144kbps.

      For all of the posters that have requested higher data-rates; don't worry, it's coming:

      WCDMA: Wideband CDMA. It wil start to appear in Europe and some US networks later this year (IIRC). It will have a maximum data rate of 384Kbps (IIRC). However, it uses almost 5MHz of the spectrum (~2.5 forward link + ~2.5 on the reverse link)

      1X-EV+DO: The add-on to the CDMA standard should allow data rates of between 1 & 2 Mbps. It's commonly reffered to as High Data Rate (HDR) and could appear late this year or sometime next year.

      1xDV: This probably won't be out until 2003-2004 timeframe, but it should offer enhanced voice and data speeds. I don't think that the spec is totally finalized, but it could provide data speeds up to 10Mbps.
      • Re:info (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        ``What they are actually referring to is "CDMA 2000-1XEV"''

        Actually, it's 1X-RTT. 1X-EV is further off and is a different technology, but very cool :)
      • Corrections and Extra Info

        What they are actually referring to is "CDMA 2000-1XEV". The "EV" stands for "Enhanced Voice".

        VZW is rolling 1xRTT, 1xEVxx stands for EVolutionary

        WCDMA: Wideband CDMA. It wil start to appear in Europe and some US networks later this year (IIRC). It will have a maximum data rate of 384Kbps (IIRC). However, it uses almost 5MHz of the spectrum (~2.5 forward link + ~2.5 on the reverse link)

        Maximum data rate is NOT 384 kbps, this is just what the Japanese early FOMA [] adopters are limited to. The 5MHz is NOT split forward/reverse. Bandwidth and chip rate (3.84 Mcps) is same in BOTH directions.

        1xEV-DO stands for EVolutionary Data Only

        For those with even a slight interest in the actual facts and standards, there are two standards groups looking after the two 3G streams. The 3G Paternership Project [] is responsible for the GSM migration path aka WCDMA. The 3G Partnership Project 2 [] covers the Qualcomm migration to cdma2000 (1xRTT, 3x, etc) etc.

  • Right, the most important thing we can bring to a portable wireless device is video. That way, you won't just have to be distracted by talking on your phone while driving, you can be watching it instead of the road.

    Do you ever get the feeling that many companies aren't really thinking about whether something is a good idea before they release it? Something tells me that marketing was behind this bold corporate strategy.

  • Sprint PCS dies as soon as I loose site of downtown, Alltel can't find their own butt with both hands let alone bill me correctly , and I have no experience with Nextel.

    Verizon on the other hand, works fine all over the metro and keeps on ticking in weird places like Quick, Iowa (population 4).
  • by isdnip ( 49656 ) on Sunday January 27, 2002 @11:52AM (#2909625)
    What VeriZontal Wireless is introducing is the so-called "1XRTT" form of CDMA2000, which is one of the flavors of "third generation" (3G) cellular telephony. While there has been a lot of noise about 3G around the world, and European carriers have shelled out tens of billions of licenses (dotcom-style investment) for new 3G spectrum (putting them deeply into debt), VeriZontal Wireless and Sprint PCS are instead taking the "just do it" approach.

    There are two distinct technical flavors (air interfaces) to 3G, both based on CDMA. The GSM (most of world) and IS-136-TDMA (Cingular, ATT-W) carriers, with existing TDMA networks, are migrating to WCDMA. The CDMA carriers (Sprint, VZW, Korea) are migrating to CDMA2000. (Qualcomm favors CDMA2000, but makes patent royalties off of both. They really did invent it.) The CDMA2000 spec in turn has multiple variants. The "1XRTT" flavor is simply a software change to the way existing CDMAone carriers are allocated among calls. The peak speed is only 144 kbps (ten times what CDMA one gives you) but there's no forklift upgrade, and no new spectrum needed. Of course it needs new handsets to make use of the new features, but the base stations are backwards compatible. Very graceful, 3G on the cheap.

    So VZW and Sprint are both rolling out 1XRTT this year. VZW announced faster, but they're both gated, in practice, by the availability of handsets and similar remote devices from the (mostly Korean) makers. The CDMA and GSM carriers are instead phasing in a "2 1/2G" technology, EDGE, as a sort of bridge to WCDMA. They'll need separate networks, or a forklift upgrade, to do 3G. Since WCDMA doesn't share spectrum with TDMA, they can't do the easy phase-in that CDMA gives you.

    But don't think of 3G as a substitute for fast wireline. A 144 kbps call basically eats ten voice calls' worth of network bandwidth. So it will be expensive! Packetized data, by the byte, will be cheaper, but really aimed more at low-bandwidth things like email than high-bandwidth things like music or ordinary web browsing. (Look up EDGE pricing on the GSM networks to get an idea; it's in dollars/MB). This is a premium service for users who need it.
    • I understand that 1xRTT rollouts will be
      followed shortly by IS-856 rollouts, which
      is a pure packet-data variant of 1xRTT.
      Apparantly, this provides a 2.4Mbps shared
      pipe downstream, 153Kbps/subscriber upstream
      (peak). This makes it simply the fastest cellular
      data system available, and rollouts are expected
      early next year. This is also technology invented
      by Qualcomm.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      ``The "1XRTT" flavor is simply a software change to the way existing CDMAone carriers are allocated among calls''

      ACtually, 1X-RTT requires board-level upgrades to the cell. You swap out 2G boards with boards with new ASICS, and voila! You also get more voice capacity (the real win), but judicious rollout will be necessary to avoid overtaxing the network.

      Oh, and the upgrades after that are, as you say, forklift upgrades. the newer network (1X-EVXX) is a completely different technology (but still spread-spectrum)
    • Sorry! Moderating this parent to 'troll' was a mistake. Picked by accident! Sorry!!!

    • Does this mean that the Ericsson 3G phone I won (T60c) that was supposed to be shipping in 3Q 2001 will actually be released soon?
    • 144kbps is not 3g, try again. The Reg has had a few articles on how GSM networks will be beating the crap out of CDMA in this soon enough.

      Anyhow, on GSM we have GPRS. Not EDGE. And its not that expensive. $40/10mb afaik. And its packetized. $4 per additional MB. Its not cheap, but its not insane.

      And, its allways on at least.

      3g services will be better than this 2.5g stuff.
    • Actually I don't think most GSM carriers are implementing EDGE but instead GPRS and will upgrade to EDGE later. GPRS maxes out at about 171kbps ( compared to 307 kbps with 1xrtt) with all 8 channels of a base station devoted to a single call. To upgrade to EDGE and thus to 384 kbps they will have to go through further backbone modifications and still not be at 3G.

      They will then have to do more major backbone modifcations to get 2mbps speeds when they move to CDMA-DS. I am baffled why certain TDMA carriers are investing millions in changing over to GSM only to have to eventually change over to CDMA in the future. Unless they are betting on further enhancement to the GSM standard to make such changes pointless.
  • Chicago (Score:2, Insightful)

    I live in Chicago and I used to live at the far end of the Verizon Digital network just south of Chicago. Verizon is by far one of the best carriers around. Last year in the city the coverage was kinda week but I had an old phoone. I now managed to loose the old phone and get a new that seems to work perfectly. I get the best reception of anyojne I know.
    I think this program would be great. Currently this is no real way of providing "regular" interent access such as web browsing. This service would seem to provide decent dl rates for those who don't find 14.4 kbs acceptable.
    I would also think that this would work rather well with the Kyocera/Palm phones Verizon offers here. I am not aware if these phones have interent access presently, I would assume not being they are b&w. I would think Phone/palm combinations in color would be a huge hit with there ability to be a palm phone and web browser. I would also think that anything over 100kb/s would also suit most people needs. That seems to be a decent web browsing speed as long as you don't feel the need to try and run a direct connect [] hub from your palm.
  • by Sierran ( 155611 )
    I have to (ulp) defend Verizon just a bit. I'm in Boston, MA USA and I have to say that Verizon's network is far and away the best of the players in the area for cell coverage, esp. digital. While it's true their phones are usually 1-2 generations back, and they'e not as cheap as other providers, I kept their service for my work phone after comparing it to (as in using for a month) Voicestream (GSM), Sprint PCS, AT&T (miserable), Cingular and Nextel. I've never had a problem with their cell customer support, either. And no, I don't work for them.
    • That's funny, because my girlfriend had Verizon service in Boston and every other time I called, her phone didn't ring even though she had 100% signal. It would just throw me straight into her voicemail. Sometimes I would call 30 or 40 times, and her phone wouldn't ring. Yet, I'd leave a voicemail, and immediately her phone would tell her she had a new voicemail, and then she'd call me back (so obviously her phone was working fine). WTF.

      Now we're both on Cingular and it works great. The only time I've ever had problems with Cingular is when I've been roaming on Alltel or Verizon networks. Go figure.

  • VZ Wireless (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm guessing michael's line was a dig at Verizon Wireless's service quality. Verizon Wireless is the best provider in the NY Metro area. Nobody else even comes close. Maybe it sucks where michael lives, but in New York and Long Island, it is excellent.
    • This may have been true a year ago.. but only for a short while, before that AT&T was far superior... and now has taken the bull by the horns again.

      I have had AT&T since 1998 and the quality of service is much better than Verizon.

      I live on Long Island, and now currently goto school in Miami, FL.. and AT&T has great service there also.

      I've always liked AT&T :)
  • I'm sure it will work just as well as Verizon's cell service does now.

    Yeah, and when you combine that with the high reliability of their DSL offerings, how can the customer lose?

  • I'd happily pay $20/month for this service, if it worked reliably and had no usage restrictions. Maybe even $30-40, if it worked really reliably (enough that I could throw out my cell phone and just use voice over IP to my home telephone).

    Somehow I'm guessing there will be usage charges or $80+/month fees. I can already get unlimited 14.4 for $60/month through nextel's unlimited incoming call plan.

  • Phones? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Reality Master 101 ( 179095 ) <RealityMaster101 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday January 27, 2002 @01:31PM (#2909899) Homepage Journal

    What I don't get is why this article keeps harping on phones. Who needs 144kbps to your phone? Streaming video? Who is going to watch video on their phone? You can't browser. E-mail is possible, but not all that interesting.

    Show me a PCMCIA adapter for my laptop, and then I get interested. Even a pocket PC might semi-interesting (although browsing would still suck, I'd imagine).

    • As I understand it, there is plans for a PC card for laptops. But I couldn't tell you when it's coming out.
    • OK (Score:3, Informative)

      How about two?

      Merlin C201 []

      AirCard 550/555 []
    • Re:Phones? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ainsoph ( 2216 ) on Sunday January 27, 2002 @04:42PM (#2910563) Homepage
      you said:

      "blah blah blah and Who needs 144kbps to your phone? Streaming video? Who is going to watch video on their phone? You can't browser. E-mail is possible, but not all that interesting."

      How bout heading on over to Japan to see what people do with wireless phones before you keep sqawkin like a person who basically has no clue what they are talking about.

      In Japan it seems that cellphones are used for everything *but* talking so godamn loud about some breakup and what the hell is going on in your life so every freekin person within a mile radius can hear you. On the contrary, people in Japan (as far as I saw) use their phones for incredible functions: everyone is always typing emails or SMS on the trains in Tokyo, people send pictures and video to each other: we were watching some celeb on the backstreet getting filmed for a tv show, people whipped out their phones and started taking pics to send to their friends. etc..

      The USA is godamn backwards as far as cell technology is concerned. I spent a year in Asia and the whole time I could not wait to get home and grab me a cellphone. Once I have been back, I could care less cos the cellphones here just dont have the features that make them cool and usable.

      Sorry, I like wicked slim, with huge screen that has 65k colors and downloadable java apps for playing games or other things to do 'on the fly'.

      Those fat nokias with LCD's just dont cut it.. Sorry. nq -1.htm#

      etc.. etc..
      • Have you tried to send an e-mail on a phone? 1-3 button presses for each letter, 3 more if you pressed too many times. Blech! This stuff falls into the shiny, blinking, whirling gadgets department. Of course, that is why it will probably sell over here sooner or later.
        • Someone should put up a note with these articles asking Americans not to assume that, just because they live in a backwards, third-rate country as far as cellphones are concerned, the rest of the world is the same. Yes, I've sent many pieces of e-mail from my phone. As have tens of millions of the Japanese people I live with here in Japan. A few considerations:

          1. Not everybody sends mail in English. The multi-tap input method works noticably better for Japanese than it does for English, which is why I tend to send e-mail in Japanese when using my phone. The pager input method is even better yet, though it has a larger learning curve.

          2. There are input methods other than multi-tap that get you much closer to one keystroke per letter for western language input. In Europe already many phones use T9 text input [], and there are others as well.


    • I'll use it! It would be great to be able to check my email from my boat. Verizon has great coverage all over British Columbia. We get solid digital signals even way out in the sticks. I could stay out there for weeks. Currently, I have to pop back into a marina with internet access every three days or so, just to check my email.

      It works OK at the current 9600 baud rate, but with 50-60 messages a day (spam!) and three or four accounts, 144K would be better.

      BTW, if you want peace and quiet for getting some programming done, there's no place like a secluded cove.
  • Their cell service in the Seattle area is excellent. Except of course my house which, although 1.2 km from a cell tower, happens to be about 10 m on the lee side of a hill from it. If 1/2 calls out of my house lasts more than a minute, it's a rare thing.

    But, 100 metres down the road, the service is superb. Clear as a bell.

    And their customer service has been good. They actually appear interested in the rapid drop in coverage near my house. Hopefully they'll send that twit from their commercial out here to fix it. Or at least add another tower on my side of the hill.
  • Talk about it here []
  • A little more info (Score:3, Informative)

    by rdfager ( 72392 ) on Sunday January 27, 2002 @04:40PM (#2910559) Homepage
    I work for Lucent and have been deploying this technology for companies such as Verizon and Sprint for the last few months. The technology Verizon is announcing is known as 3G-1XRTT. There is another 3G technology, 3G-1XEV-DO, which will be available soon. 3G-1XRTT supports speeds up to 144kbps. 3G-1XEV increases this to 2.4gig. The way that 1XRTT actually works is that each user gets one 9.6kbps channel when they connect. Then, when the user is transfering data, the cell site or the handset can request to "burst." The speed at which you burst depends on how much data you're transferring and how many resources are available on the cell. This burst speed can be any multiple of 9.6 up to 144kbps. Bursts only last for a few seconds (typically 5 or less). After that the cell/handset have to negotiate another burst. This is because as you might imagine, this can use a lot of resources on the cell/switch. For this reason, if you are not transfering any data for a few seconds, your call will go into a dormancy state. This means that all of the resources on the cell are released and your airlink is dropped. However, the call is still registered on the switch. So, when you go to transfer more data, the call comes back up and you don't have to be authenticated again or reregistered on the switch. It's a very cool system that can use a lot of resources but only when it really needs them.
    I'm sure you're all wondering what kind of throughput you can really expect to see from this. In my tests I typically see rates of about 11-12KBps. You may not see speeds quite that good in an area where a lot of people are using wireless services but I'd expect most people to see speeds about that fast. It's not as fast as cable or DSL but it's at least twice the speed of a 56K dailup - pretty darn fast for a wireless phone.
    I speak for myself and not for Lucent.
    • Nice piece of information...

      Any idea on the expected time-to-market of 3G-1XEV-DO services?
      • 1XEV is still being tested in our labs. We expect to start selling it to our customers in about 3-4 months and it will probably be at least 6 months after that before end users will have the service available to them. That is if 1XEV takes off like we hope it will.
  • Right now the typical voice cell user is paying $30 / month for a 200 minutes of prime time usage. At around 10,000 bits / second, thats 120 mb of data capacity in the form of voice bits. In another words, 4 megabytes of data on a good plan costs $1! This yields marginal profits on the oligopolies' multi-billion networks and spectrum. That's good pricing--many plans are far more expensive. Other ways to say this is that an MP3 is about a $1 of bandwidth and a 56k bps download (let say actually at 50kbps in actuality) uses $10 worth of bandwith per minute. Therefore, you don't need faster, you need a cheaper network. At least, you want your cell phone to use 802.11b when in range!
  • This should be good. 'course, what I'm wondering is, how people would rather have that 144kb/s wireless to their house (through FWLL or something), rather than to their phones. AT&T Wireless killed a project to do just that. And, not to parrot the rest of the crowds, but Verizon and Verizon Wireless are two separate companies with two separate tech. support crowds, customer service, P&L, etc. So before you start the 'Verizon is the devil' speech, VW's service kicks ass.
  • Microcell launched their GPRS service last year in Canada...first with a GPRS PCcard and then late last year with two Motorola GPRS handsets. So Verizon's achievement isn't all that stella...

    Secondly, this isn't true 3G! It's 2.5G by the very nature that it's merely access to multiple channels for data transfer -- no other 3G call features or technology.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault