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Verizon Wireless to expand new service in US

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CIOL Bureau
New Update

CHICAGO: Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless operator, said

Monday it will launch its advanced wireless service, capable of high-speed

Internet connections, in Chicago, Pittsburgh and St. Louis on Tuesday.

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The company, which also plans to announce Tuesday the launch of the service

in 10 more cities, which it did not name, first rolled it out in January in

areas from Boston to Virginia on the East Coast, and the Silicon Valley, Salt

Lake City and San Francisco Bay area in the West.

Verizon Wireless was the first nationwide carrier in the United States to

deploy Qualcomm Inc.'s next-generation technology, called CDMA2000 1X, which

promises always-connected high-speed Internet. By contrast, current digital

networks require consumers to dial up for an Internet connection.

The service, called Express Network, initially provides Internet and intranet

access and traditional e-mail via laptop computers and personal digital

assistants. Typical speeds are about 60 to 80 kilobits per second but can be as

fast as 144 kbps.

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Verizon Wireless expects to eventually offer more services such as office

functions and cell phones that can surf the Internet like desktop computers. The

company said customers can pay an extra $30 a month to use minutes from their

voice plans for data. Heavy data users can also choose from five rate plans

based on actual data usage. These include include $35 per month for 10 megabytes

or $55 per month for 20 MB.

The Express Network can be accessed through Sierra Wireless AirCard 555,

which can be plugged directly into a laptop computer, or the Kyocera 2235, a

cell phone that can act as a modem via a cable. The AirCard costs $299.99 and

the Kyocera phone costs $79.99.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications and

Britain's Vodafone Group.

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