Press Release: Cingular Wireless recently announced the world’s first commercial deployment of wireless services using Enhanced Datarate for Global Evolution (EDGE) technology. Cingular’s initial EDGE service offering is in its Indianapolis market, with subsequent deployments expected later in the year.
Building on more than a decade of wireless data experience, Cingular’s EDGE technology enables true “third generation” (3G) wireless data services with data speeds typically three times faster than those available on GSM/GPRS networks. Based on GSM, the worldwide standard for cellular communications, EDGE is a software enhancement for Cingularýýýs General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) data network that can support peak data rates up to 170 kilobits per second with average data rates of 75-135 Kbps.
“Our EDGE rollout demonstrates Cingular’s continuing progress and evolution in GSM deployment,” said Bill Clift, chief technical officer at Cingular Wireless. “EDGE is recognized as the most economical way to overlay GSM/GPRS to achieve 3G capabilities and we’re proud to be the first North American carrier to deliver EDGE-based wireless services to our customers.”
“Cingular is making good on its promise to leverage its GSM overlay to move quickly towards 3G,” said Roger Entner, an analyst with the Yankee Group. “By putting the right infrastructure into place now, the company is well positioned to deploy EDGE services strategically, when EDGE devices are available and customers are ready to adopt high-speed data services.”
Cingular’s rollout of EDGE in Indianapolis means that customers in this market can now enjoy near broadband speeds when accessing the Internet from a phone or laptop, or while sending and receiving digital images. Customers, activated on a Cingular data-enabled rateplan, need only obtain an EDGE enabled device – such as the Nokia 6200 with its mobile office kit – to take advantage of higher data speeds. They can browse the Internet with Wireless Internet Express, access corporate data using DataConnect send photo messages. The difference will be in much faster download and upload speeds.
Another key benefit of EDGE-capable devices from Cingular is that they are backwards-compatible with GPRS and programmed to stay “on network.” If a customer travels from a Cingular EDGE coverage area to a Cingular area that only has GPRS, the device will fallback to Cingular’s GPRS coverage, even when it is in a data session. Roaming fees are also the same for GPRS and EDGE.
In the future, EDGE will enable Cingular to offer more products and services that take advantage of EDGE’s higher speed – including audio and video, higher resolution photos, and more robust email and corporate data access.