Verizon plans February launch of high-speed wireless service

Verizon Wireless will introduce on February 1 the first U.S. consumer services to take advantage of “3G” high-speed mobile networks, Reuters reported.

Verizon said it will deliver video and games with improved graphics on a choice of three handsets from different vendors in 30 cities.

The United States is playing catch-up to many other countries in Europe and Asia where high-speed services have been widely available for several years. 3G, or third-generation, services refer to media-rich wireless Internet, photo and video services that go beyond the current basic multimedia services available on U.S. networks.

Verizon plans to deliver news, weather, sports and entertainment content from providers such as NBC, MTV’s VH1, Comedy Central and News Corp., Reuters reported.

Analysts told Reuters they expect the new consumer video service, known as Vcast, to improve on rival mobile video offerings from Sprint, but only in the 30 markets where Verizon supports mobile Web speeds similar to many home computers.

Verizon said it would charge $15 a month for unlimited Web browsing and access to more than 300 daily video updates. It plans to charge a premium for music videos and premium channels and for 3D games.

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