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Verizon taps into speedy wireless network

Verizon Wireless says it will be offering a wireless service based on the new 1xEV-DO standard in the third quarter of this year in two cities.

Verizon Wireless said it plans to offer a speedy wireless service based on the new CDMA2000 1xEV-DO standard in the third quarter of this year in two cities.

The Bedminster, N.J.-based company, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone, said customers in San Diego and Washington will be able to access the network through their corporate systems, so they can work from anywhere as if they were in the office.

The new 1xEV-DO standard is supposed to at least double the number of calls the network can transmit at a time and eventually create a wireless Web network capable of broadband speeds of 3mbps (megabits per second) to 5mbps.

"Our business customers have a need for speed, security, coverage and reliability when it comes to wireless access to data," John Stratton, Verizon Wireless' chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "We're going to meet their diverse needs by delivering customized, technologically advanced wireless solutions."

The standard was proposed by Nokia, Motorola, Sprint and Texas Instruments. For several months, companies have been testing equipment based on the standard, which was approved by the International Telecommunications Union in May.

Verizon said it has conducted trials of the standard with Lucent Technologies in Washington and with Nortel Networks in San Diego. Verizon plans to expand the system to new trial locations in the future.

The company said its 1xEV-DO service, which has a peak data transmission speed of up to 2.4mbps, will allow customers to download a 1MB e-mail attachment in less than 20 seconds. Verizon said that's much faster than services based on GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), which take 7 minutes, or EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution), which takes 90 seconds to download a file.

Verizon also said it is working with Wayport to offer Wi-Fi services at indoor locations, such as airports and hotels, starting in the third quarter. Many companies, including T-Mobile USA, Cometa Networks and Toshiba, are hoping to cash in on the demand for wireless "hot spots"--public places that give people wireless access. Last week, Intel said it's teaming with Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Borders Group and McDonald's to offer wireless access to customers in certain areas.