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Cingular, Lucent Rev 3G

Cingular and Lucent said they achieved successful trials of their third-generation wireless network technology, with data transfer rates hitting "true" 3G speeds.

The companies completed their first High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) data calls on a 3G Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) during tests in the Atlanta market.

The system delivered data rates of more than 3 megabits per second (Mbps) and supported streaming video and downloads of high-resolution images and other large files, the companies claimed. HSDPA has theoretical peak data speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps.

The usual speed ranges on so-called 3G networks promise bandwidth in the range of 384 Kbps (kilobits per second) to 400 Kbps when a device is stationary or moving at pedestrian speed, about 128 Kbps in a car, and 2 Mbps in fixed applications.

Verizon's 1xEV-DO technology now boasts data transmission speeds of up to 300 kilobits per second, with bursts of up to two megabits per second. The service is undergoing a national rollout.

Cingular and Lucent also tested performance improvements, including reduced transmission delays that will enable Cingular to offer multi-player video gaming and other services.

"The investments we're making in our network will enable our customers to receive the fastest mobile broadband services in the country," Kris Rinne, Cingular CTO, said in a statement. "UMTS/HSDPA delivers a host of operating efficiencies, which also equates to cost savings for our business."

Cingular's tests come a month after it outlined plans to roll out 3G services to consumers and businesses in most major markets by the end of 2006.

The nation's largest mobile carrier didn't specify which cities would be first. The move is designed to attract additional subscribers and add revenues since the company will be able to charge for new advanced services.

With its successful $41 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless behind it, Cingular, a joint venture between regional telecoms SBC and BellSouth , is the nation's largest mobile carrier, followed by Verizon Wireless.

A Verizon Wireless spokesman said the company expected Cingular to make a 3G move.

"By the time Cingular has a nationwide service offering, we will have 18 months experience selling it in the marketplace," James Gerace, a Verizon Wireless spokesman, told internetnews.com.