Cingular “Launches” HSDPA High Speed Wireless in 16 cities

According to a press release this moring, Cingular has “launched” their BroadbandConnect 3G HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) wireless data network in 16 cities, including Portland:

I put “launched” in quotes, because so far, the only way to access it it to buy a PCMCIA card for your laptop. There are no phones or PDAs that exist that can access the HSDPA network. It also doesn’t appear you can order the PC card yet – it’s listed as “coming soon”. The “BroadbandConnect” brand name is also very similar to Verizon’s “BroadbandAccess”.

Speeds are quoted at around 400-700Kbps, which is up there with EVDO, and HSDPA is theoretically capable of speeds up to 10Mbps, so there’s room for growth.

Right now, though, it’s a big yawn from me – a paper launch. Call me back when there’s a compelling pda/phone device that can take advantage of the network, and that’s priced competitively with EVDO devices from Verizon, and then we’ll talk. 😉