Start-up Wireless Provider Tests 3G Services For Small Markets

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Wireless broadband service provider Monet Mobile Networks on Monday started beta testing 3G wireless network services.

The Seattle-based provider, which currently provides 1xRTT (2.5G) services in three Midwest cities, is beta testing 1xEV-DO in Manhattan, Kan. The Qualcomm technology provides wireless data-transfer speeds that average 600 Kbps,or about 10 times typical dial-up speeds, with peak speeds of up to 2.4 Mbps, Monet executives said.

Monet plans to roll out 3G services in six to seven markets by the end of the year, a spokeswoman said. The company is currently providing 1xRTT service in Fargo, N.D., Sioux Falls, S.D., and Moorehead, Minn.

Monet provides data-only wireless services to small and midsize businesses. In addition to providing services for mobile workers, the company also caters to small businesses and consumers that are unable to obtain last-mile connections for broadband services.

The company offers a $99 wireless modem that is compatible with mobile and desktop PCs. Pricing for unlimited network usage is $49.95 per month.

It sells its network service through retailers, authorized dealers and VARs, the spokeswoman said.

The 1999 start-up is privately held and includes Qualcomm and Intel among its investors.

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