With the launch of its VISION suite of 3.5G HSDPA mobile services last week, Rogers Wireless claims to be the first wireless provider in North America to offer video calling to handset users. Rogers’ domestic rivals Bell Canada (including Aliant), TELUS, MTS and SaskTel all provide multimedia wireless services over CDMA2000 1xEV-DO networks, but are yet to launch video calling. In the USA, AT&T is set to launch video calling over HSDPA this summer, whilst EV-DO Rev A networks recently launched by Sprint and Verizon should provide a platform for the application, and T-Mobile USA is preparing to launch a 3G/3.5G network this year. To celebrate the launch of VISION, Canadian actor William Shatner made the first official video call. ‘Canada is clearly known for its many talents,’ said the Star Trek star, ‘but I am especially proud to see my home country again at the leading edge of technology.’ TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database notes that the world’s first commercial 3G handsets were launched in 2001 by NTT DoCoMo in Japan.
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