CES Cellular Highlights: W-CDMA, Wi-Fi, Video

By Joseph Palenchar On Dec 19 2005 - 8:00am

At least three handset suppliers will display their first W-CDMA handsets intended for wide-scale deployment during next month's International CES, where dealers will also find Wi-Fi handsets intended for in-home and hot-spot use.

Updated plans on the launch of DVB-H (digital video broadcasting-handheld) networks in the United States are also in the works. The networks are designed to transmit multiple channels of live TV to cellular handsets and to other handheld devices. DVB-H is expected to offer 15 frames per second (fps) to 30 fps of QVGA quality and initially eight to 16 channels in the United States.

Nokia and Samsung will be among the suppliers showing recently announced W-CDMA handsets, which enable simultaneous voice and data sessions as well as live videocalls. Neither features high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA), which boosts average per-user data rates of 550Kbps to 1,100Kbps from W-CDMA's peak 384Kbps downloads, according to 3G Americas. They're due in the first quarter.

At least two suppliers, however, will show U.S.-market W-CDMA handsets equipped with HSDPA. They're due in the first half, according to Cingular, which launched its W-CDMA/HSDPA network in 16 major markets this month and plans for most major markets in 2006.

Cingular's W-CDMA network currently delivers average download throughputs of 400Kbps to 700Kbps with 1Mbps bursts. While awaiting the arrival of W-CDMA handsets, Cingular is offering W-CDMA/EDGE/GPRS modem cards.

Samsung's SGH-zx10 is a quadband worldphone operating in GSM/GPRS in four bands and in W-CDMA in the U.S. 850MHz and 1900MHz bands. The clamshell phone will lack HSDPA and Bluetooth in initial production runs.

The first production models are due in the first quarter. Other features include 1.3-megapixel camera, removable TransFlash card, 3D mobile gaming and speakerphone .

Nokia's 6282 operates in W-CDMA mode at 1.9GHz and in GSM/GPRS/EDGE modes at 850/1800/1900MHz. The Series 40 handset features Bluetooth, megapixel camera with 8x digital zoom and playback of MP3, AAc and eAAC+ music files and MPEG-4 video. Standby time is up to 10 days in GSM mode and to eight days in W-CDMA mode.

In Wi-Fi phones, UTStarcom will show its previously announced Wi-Fi-only F1000 handset, available from VoIP service provider Vonage for $79 after an instant $50 rebate. It will operate on home and enterprise 802.11b networks and public hot spots to give consumers unlimited local and long-distance calls.

At least one company will show a pair of wireless home gateways that enable a hybrid Wi-Fi/cellular phone to place VoIP calls within the home and seamlessly hand off the call to the cellular network when moving out of range.

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