Verizon positions itself for 3G data networks

Lucent Technologies Inc. and Nortel Networks Corp. last week announced they are involved in two Verizon Wireless Inc. trials.

Lucent and Verizon Wireless will launch a 3G trial network in Washington, D.C. The data-optimized Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) 2000 1xEV-DO network will provide businesses with mobile access to e-mail and intranets at speeds of up to 2.4M bit/sec, the companies claim.

1xEV-DO refers to 1x Evolution, Data Optimized. CDMA2000 1xEV-DO is an alternative 3G wireless technology to Wideband CDMA (WCDMA). WCDMA offers data rates of 384K bit/sec and is planned for implementation in 2003.

Verizon Wireless currently offers data rates of 40K bit/sec to 60K bit/sec, burstable to 144K bit/sec, on its 1xRTT Express Network. Verizon Wireless is the first mobile network operator to deploy Lucent’s new Flexent OneBTS base stations, announced in March.

In order to enable the 1xEV-DO trial, Lucent says it will upgrade its commercial Flexent CDMA base stations with channel cards and software. The company is also expected to supply its Flexent Mobility Server for an IP interface to the data network.

Wireless PC cards and embedded modules from AirPrime Inc. and Sierra Wireless Inc. will be used to test the network, the companies report. Compaq Computer Corp. will also supply its Evo Notebook N600c with its 1xEV-DO MultiPort Module.

Separately, Verizon Wireless and Nortel will launch a similar trial in San Diego beginning in June. The trial will use Nortel’s Metro Cell base stations. The two companies are also working together to deploy CDMA 1xRTT radio base station equipment and related network gear for Verizon Wireless’ Express Network.