3G Wireless Rolls Out Slowly; 4G Waits in the Wings

In early 2002, Verizon became the first company launch a 3G wireless telephone network in the United States, but that service is not available yet in all service areas. Cingular (including the former AT&T network) is the last into the 3G market and is rolling out the upgrad-ed service in major markets this year. The company expects to have the coast-to-coast network in operation by the end of 2006. Sprint Nextel, as the merged companies will soon be known, has 3G upgrades underway as well. 3G technology has been touted as the “next big thing” in wireless phones, allowing users to send documents, surf the web, view graphics and streaming video, down-load music and even video-conference over mobile phones. What do users get with 3G? Today, there is a limited, but growing number of audio and video services, including the well-publicized camera phones and MP3-enabled phones. For larger displays and easier e-mail manage-ment, PDAs are a popular choice.