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Alltel Rolls Out Faster Mobile Broadband

With the Verizon Wireless deal almost complete, Alltel expands its EV-DO Rev. A network throughout central Arkansas and Nebraska.

Alltel Wireless announced Friday it will expand its high-speed wireless broadband network throughout central Arkansas and Nebraska.

The company is expanding its EV-DO Rev. A technology, potentially letting customers upload files five to 10 times faster than before. This is the first expansion since Alltel said last month it would roll out EV-DO Rev. A to 82% of its wireless footprint.

"Alltel Wireless is committed to bringing our customers the fast wireless broadband service they expect in their business and personal lives," said Jay Ortman, VP of business solutions for Alltel in Nebraska, in a statement. "This network upgrade will give our customers secure, reliable access to the latest wireless technology."

Existing Alltel 3G customers currently have upload speeds that average 50 to 70 Kbps, with bursts up to 144 Kbps. But with Rev. A, users will get an average upload speed of 500 to 800 Kbps, with bursts up to 1.8 Mbps.

The increased uplink speed potentially can enable push-to-talk over VoIP, as well as mobile videoconferencing on future devices. For an in-depth look at how mobile broadband can impact enterprises, check out InformationWeek's "Global Mobile Report" (registration required).

Download speeds also will increase from an average of 400 to 700 Kbps to 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps. Burst speeds will go from 2.4 Mbps to 3.1 Mbps. The company estimated users would be able to download a 1-MB e-mail attachment in less than 15 seconds.

Alltel has more than 13 million mobile subscribers and has one of the largest wireless footprints of any U.S. carrier, in terms of geographical coverage. The upgrade will put portions of Alltel's mobile broadband network in line with the 3G network of Verizon Wireless.

Verizon agreed to purchase Alltel for $28 billion last month, and the deal is awaiting regulatory approval.

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