Samsung and Cingular roll out first HSDPA phone for the U.S.

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Samsung and Cingular are partnering up to roll out the first High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) phone to the US. The Samsung SGH-zx20 is a Bluetooth-enabled cameraphone that can play videos, download ringtones, and acces webpages. Users will be able to surf Cingular's 3G network at up to 1 Mb/s.

Samsung zx20

The SGH-zx20 is a quad-band phone and has a "multitask" button that allows users to simultaneously surf the web, check email or download ringtones while on a voice call. A 262,000-color TFT screen is included to watch videos or view pictures that have been taken with the phone's 1.3 megapixel camera. The phone includes instant messaging software from AOL, MSN and Yahoo.

HSDPA phones have been offered for a while in Asia, most notably in South Korea. South Korea's mobile phone infrastructure is considered to be one of the most advanced in the world in which residents have been viewing full-motion digital television for some time.

Cingular's 3G network provides download speeds of 400-700 kb/s with promised burst speeds of more than 1 Mb/s. Most major U.S. cities are covered by the HSDPA service; One major market, Los Angeles, is curiously missing from the list.

The Samsung SGH-zx20 is currently only offered through Cingular for $150, provided the customer agrees to a 2-year service contract with the carrier. The HSDPA service is available for $60 per month.