Wireless provider demos high-speed cellular Internet

Verizon Wireless of Bedminster, N.J., and Qualcomm Inc. of San Diego today demonstrated for congressional and Federal Communications Commission staffers a new high-speed wireless Internet service set to be rolled out in Washington and San Diego this fall.

Verizon's 1X EvDO (Evolved Data Optimized) service is based on Qualcomm's Code Division Multiple Access cellular standard and offers peak speeds of 2.4 Mbps over a cellular system, although real-world throughput is typically in the 300- to 800-Kbps range. During a demonstration of the technology at 65 mph on the road in Northern Virginia, download speeds ranged from 256 Kbps in a walled area to 474 Kbps.

Verizon currently has two test areas equipped with the technology, with nine cells in Northern Virginia and another nine cells in the Rockville, Md., area. EvDO requires dedicated spectrum for the service, which Bruce Simon, Verizon Wireless director of advanced technology, said is being taken out of unused bandwidth in the 1900-MHz range.

"We hope to outgrow that quickly," Simon said. Additional frequency is being sought from government-owned spectrum under the Spectrum Relocation Bill now before Congress.

Simon said Verizon is making EvDO service available to several government customers for testing.

William Jackson writes for Government Computer News.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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