RealTime IT News

VZ Wireless' 3G Expansion Spree

Verizon Wireless has extended its third-generation network in New York and New Jersey, giving itself a broader audience to market money-making services to.

The Bedminster, N.J., carrier's network supports BroadbandAccess, a mobile Internet service for laptops, and Vcast, a content package featuring news, sports and entertainment video clips for handsets. The offerings cost $79.99 and $15 per month, respectively.

The nation's second-largest mobile carrier (Cingular is the largest) said its advanced network now reaches further into Brooklyn and Queens. On Long Island, it's available along the southern shore and parts of north shore, including Port Jefferson and Centerport.

North of the city, 3G reaches southern Rockland County, including Nyack and Pearl River, and in southern and central portions of Westchester County, including White Plains.

In New Jersey, the service runs south along the Jersey Shore to the Ocean County border, west into Morris and Somerset counties, and north to Alpine in Bergen County.

During the first three months of the year, Verizon Wireless invested $138 million in network enhancements in the New York Metro area, following $475 million in capital spending last year, Verizon Wireless said.

Verizon Wireless switched on its 3G network in 30 U.S. cities this year and has steadily pushed out from those hubs, using base stations from network equipment maker Lucent Technologies .

Earlier this week, the company, which is owned by regional telecom Verizon Communications and British carrier Vodafone , announced additional coverage in Seattle and 10 communities in Greater Atlanta.

The expansion of the 3G network around New York comes as Verizon Communications is phasing out its free Wi-Fi service, which put hotspot gear at pay phones. The initiative, begun in 2003, no longer made economic or strategic sense.