AT&T Wireless started offering customers in Detroit, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle the first commercially-available true 3G UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) network in the United States.
AT&T Wireless UMTS customers can access the new wireless broadband service using either the Motorola A845 ($299.99) or Nokia 6651 ($299.99) handsets.
Customers can select from any of AT&T Wireless GSM calling plans for voice services and can receive a monthly unlimited! enhanced mMode plan for $24.99. Businesses can purchase unlimited! data access for $79.99 monthly. This is great! In Germany or Austria for instance UMTS service is charged per usage either time-based or volume, which is totally ridiculous and cost prohibitive. So now you just have to live in one of the supported areas. If you get AT&T UMTS service please email us your first impressions.
The company said it is also offering a UMTS modem developed jointly by Lucent and Novatel ($149.99 with rebate), in addition to the handsets.
AT&T Wireless said its wireless broadband service provides customers with average wireless data speeds between 220 and 320 kilobits-per-second (kbps), with bursts up to 384kbps. In the future, the company noted that UMTS can be easily and cost-effectively upgraded to HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access), which is estimated to attain peak data rates up to 14.4 megabits-per-second (mbps).
AT&T Wireless collaborated with NTT DoCoMo to setup the 3G service.
More details in ATT Wireless Press-Release. See also AT&T UTMS Site, where customers can purchase UTMS service.
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