Cingular Wireless

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The new Cingular logo

Cingular Wireless LLC is the largest United States mobile phone company, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

Cingular, formed in 2001, is a joint venture of the American landline telephone companies SBC and BellSouth. The two companies hold 60% and 40% stakes in Cingular, respectively, based on the value of the assets each company contributed to the venture.

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The Cingular Wireless logo prior to the acquisition of AT&T Wireless.
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Cingular Wireless World Headquarters. Atlanta, GA.

Cingular was the second largest mobile phone carrier in the United States. On October 26, 2004, Cingular won regulatory approval from the FCC to acquire AT&T Wireless, and completed the acquisition of 24 million customers giving them 48 million customers, which surpasses Verizon Wireless, and is now the largest mobile phone carrier in the United States.

Cingular operates a mixed network consisting of GSM (from the former Pacific Bell Wireless and BellSouth Mobility DCS networks), and TDMA and AMPS (from SBC's Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems network, BellSouth's BellSouth Mobility network, a Mobitex-based network used for paging and remote telemetry, and various acquisitions, including some SBC-owned systems operating under the Cellular One name), which they are working to convert to pure GSM/GPRS. Cingular is also experimentally deploying EDGE data services in certain areas, and with the acquisition of AT&T Wireless now supports EDGE nationwide. Cingular will be rolling out UMTS or W-CDMA High-Speed network, to counter Verizon's "ev-do" network. UMTS should be rolled out in every market sometime in 2006. The network runs GSM-1900 in the former Pacific Bell Wireless and BellSouth Mobility DCS areas. The areas that have been converted to GSM from TDMA are mostly GSM-850, but there are some exceptions where the pre-Cingular companies had only licenses in the 1900MHz PCS band.

In California, Nevada, northern New Jersey and New York City, Cingular and T-Mobile USA maintain and share a GSM-1900 network, through a joint venture known as GSM Facilities. The network sharing agreement allowed Cingular to offer local service in northern New Jersey and New York City and T-Mobile to offer service in California and Nevada. On May 25, 2004, Cingular and T-Mobile USA announced their intention to dissolve the agreement contingent on Cingular's successful acquisition of AT&T Wireless.

Cingular also outsources some of their Customer Care to companies in Canada and overseas.

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