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Cingular starts 3G network

Cingular starts 3G network

On Monday, Cingular formerly unveiled its 3G cell phone network and Cingular Video, the carrier's on-demand streaming video service. Although the carrier's high-speed UMTS network has been up and running since the start of the year, Monday's announcement marks the start of public availability. The nation's largest carrier also announced that it would start selling its first 3G UMTS phones: the Samsung SGH-ZX10 and the LG CU320. The CU320 offers an attractive slider design with a generous feature set that includes a 1.3-megapixel camera with a flash and a rotating camera lens; Bluetooth; a speakerphone; messaging and e-mail; an MP3 player; and a TransFlash card slot. The Samsung SGH-ZX10 offers similar features but in a flip-phone design. For more on the SGH-ZX10, see our full review. Later in the spring, Cingular will add the Nokia 6282 and the LG CU500.

Designed to compete with Verizon's V Cast and Sprint's Power Vision, Cingular Video will offer a breadth of video content, such as ABC TV, the Cartoon Network, CNN, the Disney Channel, iFilm, the TV Guide Channel, ESPN, and the Weather Channel. Access requires a $19.99 Cingular Media Net Unlimited data package, while V Cast and Power Vision run $15 per month. Cingular also offers exclusive content from HBO Mobile for an additional $4.99 per month. Initially, the service will be available in 16 markets: Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Las Vegas; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City; San Diego; San Francisco; San Jose; Seattle/Tacoma, Washington; and Washington, D.C. More markets and video content will be added over time.

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