AT&T Wireless rethinks American 3G launch
Japan’s NTT DoCoMo Inc. has announced that it will begin offering third-generation (3G) wireless data services in four U.S. cities with AT&T Wireless Services Inc. by December 2004. The proposed service is planned for San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas and San Diego.
The announcement represents a delay and scaleback by AT&T Wireless Services Inc.of the deployment of its W-CDMA network, pushing back the date by more than a year to December 2004 and cutting the number of U.S. cities set to launch to four. The company previously planned to serve 13 cities with W-CDMA by mid-2003. Like many other carriers exploring the technology, the company said it would scale back to wait for more opportune economic times.
DoCoMo officials said it would be the first deployment of 3G wireless data services based on the high-speed W-CDMA (wideband code division multiple access) format.
The company’s 3G network covers more than 80 percent of Japan’s population and is set to reach 90 percent by March. DoCoMo officials also plan roll out 3G services with international roaming, which would let subscribers make overseas calls.
Under the deal with its U.S. affiliate, AT&T Wireless, the two companies will set up a committee to map out 3G rollout plan.