Nextel debuts wireless broadband in North Carolina

A US first


US Cellco Nextel has launched a full scale mobile wireless broadband service for North Carolina's Research Triangle offering a 1.5 Mbps service, bursting to 3 Mbps, for prices ranging between $34.99 to $74.99 a month.

These are cited downlink speeds whereas a typical uplink speeds will be around 375 kbps with burst rates of up to 750 kbps. Effectively Nextel has taken a trial, based around Flarion Technologies' Flash OFDM technology, a version of IEEE 802.20 mobile-fi, and extended it into a full service.

The service will now be called Nextel Wireless Broadband, and it has a coverage area of 1,300 square miles extending to Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and other neighboring communities with a total of one million residents. The service has not had paying customers before but will now accept them, and began life being given away to local employees of Cisco, Nortel and IBM and others. Local marketing initiatives will now begin.

Nextel's trial also bundles in multiple e-mail accounts, online disk storage and offers public, private and static IP addresses. The Flarion technology should allow customers to move around within the network and attach from an enabled PC with a PC card or wireless modem from virtually anywhere, just like using a mobile phone.

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