Technology: High Speed On The Go

Sorry, but your mobile phone is so yesterday. When it comes to the most coveted wireless gadget, it's no longer the slimness of the handset that matters but the speed of the network. With Verizon and Sprint rolling out new "evolution-data only" (EV-DO) broadband service, TIP SHEET tested each one. Verizon's network (it adds about $15 to your monthly bill), which we tried on a Motorola E815 phone, makes watching clips from NBC News on the carrier's V Cast service a satisfying experience, though occasionally the video gets interrupted while the phone reconnects to the network. Downloading Pac-Man took a mere five seconds. Sprint's nascent EV-DO network (starting at $15 extra a month), tested on a Samsung MM-A940 phone, has similar speed and comparable programming but is currently in far fewer cities than Verizon's (it will catch up next year). Web browsing is nowhere near what you get with your laptop's Wi-Fi connection, of course, but it's still fast enough to make it worthwhile, and e-mailing digital photos took only a few seconds. If you want mobile entertainment now, these networks are the way to go.