FCC OK’s UMTS-based Novatel’s Merlin: Novatel got approval from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its Merlin U520 Wireless PC Card Modem based on Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) technology. That’s a big mouthful for 3G. The Merlin U520, jointly developed with Lucent Technologies, will enable customers on 1900 MHz band 3G UMTS (also known as W-CDMA) networks in North America to access email, the Internet and corporate Intranets at speeds of up to 384 kbps. The Merlin U520 will be used for 3G UMTS network trials by Cingular Wireless in the Atlanta market. I cannot wait for this, because it would mean that I don’t have to deal with disparate pricing schemes of WiFi operators who are just bleeding me dry as I try to get a wireless connection on the go.