5.8GHz Phones Hit The Market

By Greg Scoblete On Sep 16 2002 - 6:00am

Consumers will soon be sorting through more cordless options when the new 5.8GHz DSS phones from Uniden and VTech, announced in January, finally hit the market. VTech will be first to market with its 5831 cordless telephone, shipping this month.

The VTech 5831 includes a built-in speakerphone on both the handset and the base unit. The base unit also features its own full-size keypad and LCD screen to display caller ID and call waiting. The system ships with one handset and can accommodate up to five additional handsets.

The 5831 also features an intercom that can be used to make conference calls and transfer calls between the handsets and base. A Sound Select feature gives the user four different sound field preset modes.

The handset displays an analog and a digital clock, as well as a built-in 50-name/number phonebook directory with a visual message-waiting indicator.

The VTech 5831 starter package, which includes one base unit and handset, carries a suggested retail price of $199, additional handsets have a suggested retail price of $99 each.Uniden's 5.8GHz introductions will follow in October and November. While they can support fewer handsets (a total of two), the company is pushing the fact that it is using "true 5.8GHz." Uniden phones both transmit and receive voice data in the 5.8GHz frequency as opposed to VTech's offering.

VTech's phone, by contrast, is dual band, meaning the base unit transmits to the handset using the 5.8GHz band while the handset transmits to the base unit using the 2.4GHz band. According to Brad Pittmon, VTech product manager, transmitting via dual band allows for greater security because the signal is transmitting in two different bands. The product is more energy efficient, Pittmon said, because it takes more power to transmit in 5.8GHz both ways.

The Uniden phones will also feature a patent-pending directional antenna system on the base unit that the company claims is two-and-a-half times more powerful than conventional antennas.

Uniden's 5.8GHz line includes two models, the TRU5865-2 and the TRU5885-2 models. Each ships with two handsets and features a step-down package that ships with just one handset with an optional handset available for separate purchase.

The TRU5865-2 (suggested retail price of $199) features handset speakerphone, caller ID/call waiting, dual keypad, 100 dynamic memory locations and a voice mail waiting indicator.

Its single handset counterpart, the TRU5865, carries a suggested retail price of $149. Consumers can purchase an additional handset for the TRU5865, the TXC580, for a suggested retail price of $79. Both single and dual handset packages ship in November.

The TRU5885-2 (suggested retail $229) builds upon the base model with a digital answering system and new message waiting indicator and is also available in a single handset model, TRU5885 (suggested retail $169). The TRU5885 is also compatible with the TXC580 optional handset.

Both packages will ship in October.

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