San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
FREMONT, CALIF. —Vialta has unveiled the ViPhone, a video-phone with Web browser and e-mail access. The device, which also offers optional voice-over-Internet Protocol long-distance calling, features a fold-down videoscreen, built-in videocamera, 56K V.90 modem, hands-free speakerphone, address book and calendar functions, caller ID display, and RJ-11 connection for external handset. It is expected to retail for about $499 with LCD display and $299 without.
Vialta is a subsidiary of ESS Technology, a maker of chips for DVD players and computer audio and video cards. The com-pany also unveiled a Web-browsing DVD.
LAS VEGAS —Siemens announced at CES that it landed its first carrier account, Cingular Wireless, after re-entering the U.S. wireless-phone market in late 2000. Cingular signed a memorandum of understanding to carry the Siemens S40 triband world GSM phone in its GSM markets. Cingular, the product of a merger between BellSouth and SBC wireless operations, also operates TDMA networks in its 38-state network. The silver 3.4-ounce phone, available in March, features internal antenna and vibrating alert, WAP browser, PIM functions that synchronize with Microsoft Outlook, voice recorder, and thin lithium battery delivering up to 260 hours of standby time or up to 360 minutes of talktime.
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The FCC has proposed the reallocation of the 1710-1755MHz, 1755-1800MHz, 2110-2150MHz, and 2160-2165MHz bands for new wireless services, including 3G. The first two bands are used by the government, primarily the Department of Defense; the latter two are currently used for a broad variety of wireless services. Under an order issued by former President Clinton, the FCC will allocate new spectrum by July 2001 and hold auctions by Sept. 30, 2002.
KANSAS CITY, MO. —Sprint PCS, which already sells a Palm-based smartphone, has tightened its relationship with Palm. The two companies announced plans for an early-2001 cable and software kit to connect Palm PDAs to Sprint phones, first-half availability of Kyocera's new Palm-based smartphone, and midyear sales of a CDMA wireless modem for Palms. The solutions will enable users to wirelessly access a co-branded portal that will deliver PIM services, access to websites, access to POP3 e-mail, and in conjunction with Sprint's enterprise solutions, wireless access to corporate e-mail and enterprise applications.