Cingular Starts 3G Migration

Cingular Wireless was set to announce at a press conference Tuesday that it has started migrating its network to fast third-generation technology.

The company will formally announce that it has started upgrading its system to Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE) technology that supports speeds as high as 384Kbps.

The transition will begin by installing GSM and GRPS technology on top of its TDMA and analog networks, the company said in a pre-press conference statement. AT&T Wireless is employing a similar “overlay” to its existing technologies.

Cingular was formed as a partnership among a number of wireless operators and, as a result, currently employs a variety of wireless technologies. It currently uses GSM technology in California, Washington, Nevada, South Carolina, North Carolina, eastern Tennessee and coastal Georgia and has already employed GPRS, which has maximum speeds of 144Kbps, in some of those markets, including Seattle and Las Vegas.

The company said it will install EDGE technology in all its markets. However, it will continue to offer TDMA service to its current TDMA customers.

It did not provide a specific timetable for the conversion.

David Haskin is managing editor of sister site

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