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Lucent Technologies Inc. and L.M. Ericsson said they have upgraded three of Cingular Wireless L.L.C.'s UMTS networks with higher-speed HSDPA capabilities. Lucent said it installed the upgrades on Cingular's network in Seattle and Phoenix, while Ericsson said it performed the enhancements in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, market. Cingular inherited the three networks when it acquired AT&T Wireless Services Inc. last year

Both companies said the upgrades will provide average data speeds of between 400 kilobits per second and 700 kilobits per second, which happen to be the same speeds quoted for CDMA2000 1x EV-DO networks from Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp. and Alltel Corp. Cingular's current UMTS network, which is up and running in six markets, provides average network speeds of between 220 kbps and 320 kbps.

Lucent Technologies Inc. and L.M. Ericsson said they have upgraded three of Cingular Wireless L.L.C.'s UMTS networks with higher-speed HSDPA capabilities. Lucent said it installed the upgrades on Cingular's network in Seattle and Phoenix, while Ericsson said it performed the enhancements in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, market. Cingular inherited the three networks when it acquired AT&T Wireless Services Inc. last year

Both companies said the upgrades will provide average data speeds of between 400 kilobits per second and 700 kilobits per second, which happen to be the same speeds quoted for CDMA2000 1x EV-DO networks from Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp. and Alltel Corp. Cingular's current UMTS network, which is up and running in six markets, provides average network speeds of between 220 kbps and 320 kbps.

Cingular added that customers will not have access to the higher speeds until HSDPA-compatible devices are available, which is expected to follow the service's commercial launch next month. Cingular said it is carrying all voice and data traffic on the upgraded network, and that it is the first carrier in the world to launch an HSDPA network. The carrier noted that it is on track to launch between 15 and 20 HSDPA markets by the end of the year.

Cingular released information late last week on an internal Web site highlighting its planned HSDPA network launch, which includes 18 markets. Markets covered in the initial launch plans are Dallas, Houston and Austin, Texas; Chicago; Detroit; Baltimore; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Las Vegas; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.; and Seattle and Tacoma, Wash.

To support the launch, Cingular showed details on the Sierra Wireless Inc. AirCard 860 PC card. The AirCard 860 includes UMTS/HSDPA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM capabilities using the 850 MHz and 1.9 GHz North American spectrum bands, as well as the 900 MHz and 1.8 GHz bands used by European operators.

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