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Ameritech begins wireless broadband

Ameritech weighs in with its own wireless broadband service for voice, video, and data communications.

"Line lubbers" take heed. Ameritech today weighed in with its own wireless broadband service for voice, video, and data communications.

The service will be launched in November in the Midwest.

The big teleco's involvement is another sign of wireless' growing clout for hooking up to the Internet and videoconferencing. Up until recently, much of the market has been left to smaller players, even startups.

Ameritech is teaming up with Advanced Radio Telecom to provide the service via 38 gigahertz band. The technology is quicker and cheaper to install than fiber. Using 38-GHz microwave technology, Ameritech will be able to provide local access service for its customers as well as network diversity and back-up recovery that can be deployed quickly and inexpensively, it said.

The service is aimed at businesses who already use T1 or T3 lines and the cost is comparable, Ameritech executives said today.

Ameritech's announcement comes on the heels of one by CAI Wireless to offer wireless Internet access in the Northeast as early as January.