Verizon's Rev A Gets Carded

Verizon Wireless has faster 3G on the cards, MySpace goes mobile with another big carrier, and phone storage gets a little bit more personal in this week's new-product round-up.

A to the CDMA: While Verizon has not officially announced its CDMA EV-DO Revision A network yet, it's clear that the carrier is getting ready to go faster with 3G soon.

Sierra Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: SWIR; Toronto: SW) announced this morning that the first Rev A-compatible PC card is now available online for Verizon Wireless' Broadband Access service. It will be available in stores in mid-January 2007.

"The AirCard 595 PC card is also fully compatible with Verizon Wireless' current EV-DO and CDMA 1X networks, so customers purchasing the card will be able to take advantage of the benefits of Revision A when and where it becomes available," says Sierra in a statement. "A simple over-the-air download will expand the capabilities of the card to accommodate Rev A speeds."

The major benefit of the Rev A upgrade is faster downloads. The technology offers average speeds of 450 to 800 Kbit/s, with "bursts" of up 3 Mbit/s. Typical download speeds for current EV-DO networks are in the 300 to 500-Kbit/s range.

Verizon is following in rival CDMA operator Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s footsteps with the upgrade. Sprint says that it will cover more than 40 million potential customers with Rev A by the start of 2007. (See Rev A USA.)

MyCingular: The No. 1 mobile operator in the U.S. has inked a deal to deliver MySpace Mobile to its cellphone subscribers.

Cingular Wireless says the deal will give its customers the exclusive ability to track and change their MySpace pages via their mobile phones. Mobile capabilities include uploading photos, changing profiles, and adding to blogs.

Interesingly, Cingular seems to be trying to check off the functionality that major GSM rival T-Mobile US Inc. says it wants to add to its service as it deploys 3G in 2007. (See Cingular Intros New Service and T-Mobile Confirms 3G Plans.)

Grab-n-Go Storage: Agere Systems Inc. (NYSE: AGR.A), generally better known as a semiconductor manufacturer, has introduced a "mobile storage server" that will enable users to upload or backup mobile content on their cellphones and share it with friends.

The BluOnyx server, which isn't much bigger than a pack of cards, can hold between 1 Gbytes and 40 Gbytes of data. Users can store or access it via secure digital (SD) cards and Bluetooth. Agere suggests that using Bluetooth can allow users to set up a "digital campfire" [Ed. note: Complete with beans?] and stream videos to multiple phones.

Agere will be showing off its new box at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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