Verizon Launches Next-Gen Wireless Services, Partners With Accenture


Verizon Wireless on Monday launched its next-generation network and will tap Accenture to help provide wireless data services to the enterprise.

Verizon's new network, the first phase of CDMA 2000 technology or 2.5G, is available today to East Coast customers, in major cities from Virginia to Boston, as well as customers in Northern California and Salt Lake City. Dubbed the Express Network, Verizon expects the new service to reach more than half of its 29.4 million subscribers by the end of the year, although a spokesman was unable to specify when the company will complete its U.S. rollout.

"We will continue expansion of the Express Network, and by close of 2002 the majority of the nearly 222 million covered POPs should be able to use the Express Network every day," said Dick Lynch, Verizon Wireless CTO, in a statement.

The new technology will enable Verizon to offer packet-based data transfers of 40 Mbps to 50 Mbps with peaks up to 144 Mbps, the company said. Verizon is selling a Kyocera 2235 phone and a PC Card, Sierra Wireless AirCard 555, along with the service.

Verizon will partner with New York-based Accenture to help promote next-generation network service to the enterprise. Accenture Monday launched Mobile Service Bureau, a hosted wireless data service that will enable customers to access applications, corporate information, Internet, intranet, e-mail and PIM functionality from mobile devices. The two companies plan to jointly market their services.

Verizon will price its Express Network Service at $30 per month on top of a voice calling plan of $35 or more. The $30 fee allows customers to use any of their airtime allowance minutes for either voice or data. Additional pricing plans are expected in the future. The Kyocera phone is priced at $79.99, and the Sierra Wireless card is priced at $299.99.