At present, the only 3G network operators in the United States are Sprint,
Cingular, and Verizon. T-Mobile plans a 3G rollout at the end of this
year or in early 2007.
Ray also spoke briefly to T-Mobile's 3G, or third generation,
plans, and seemed to indicate that the carrier may be
following a more accelerated plan towards next generation data
services. Cingular announced the launch of its own high-speed
HSDPA network earlier this month.
Ray revealed that 3G testing was already occurring in some
markets, although he declined to provide specific locations,
as the networks are not publicly available.
"We are very hopeful that by the end of 2006, and definitely
in 2007, we'd be able to bring 3G services to the market. Some
of this is auction dependent," Ray said, alluding to a large
cellular spectrum auction to take place next summer. "We're
hopefully looking at a 3G deployment in late 2006."
BetaNews: T-Mobile Plans for Growth, 3G in 2006
Sprint's 3G plan costs $59.99 a month with a voice plan and $79.99
without. Coverage is available throughout the United States in major urban
areas. The minimum length of contract is two years, and data transfer
is unlimited as long as you do not abuse the service by continuously
streaming large multimedia files or operating a server through the
Sprint Business: Mobile Broadband
Like Sprint, Cingular offers an unlimited 3G data plan for $79.99
a month, or for $59.99 if you purchase a voice plan worth at least
$39.99 a month. The minimum contract length is two years, and the usual
provisions against bandwidth abuse apply. Coverage is available nationwide
in metropolitan areas and along major highways.
Finally, Verizon also offers a two-year 3G plan for $59.99 a month with
unlimited data transfer, under the standard abuse restrictions, as long
as you purchase a voice plan from them. Coverage is again nationwide,
with the emphasis on major urban areas and traffic corridors.
Verizon Wireless: BroadbandAccess
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