By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Dallas — Nokia began shipping its 9290 Communicator in the United States. It's also available on Nokia's Web site, www.nokiausa.com. At a suggested $599, the keyboard-equipped 8.6-ounce GSM smart phone is based on the Symbian OS and features word processing, spreadsheet and HTML browsing applications.
Redmond, Wash. — AT&T Wireless will begin friendly-user market trials of a W-CDMA 3G network in Dallas in the fourth quarter, a spokesman said. The 1900MHz trial network will use Ericsson infrastructure in about 100 cell sites in the Dallas area and will be the first 1900MHz W-CDMA system in the Americas. In February, Ericsson and AT&T completed the first live W-CDMA voice call in the United States, then concluded a lab demonstration of a multimedia file transfer at more than 300Kbps.
Wheaton, Md.— High handset prices will slow subscriber adoption of UMTS (W-CDMA) service, according to a study by Herschel Shosteck Associates. "European UMTS will launch during the last half of 2002," said Herschel Shosteck. By year-end 2002, dual-mode GSM/GPRS/UMTS handsets will wholesale at $438, he said, and by year-end 2005, they will wholesale for $185 — three times the [expected 2005] price of GSM/GPRS and CDMA 1X [handsets]. "This great a price disparity as late as 2005 foretells a slow adoption of UMTS," he said. By year-end 2002, wholesales on low-tier GSM/GPRS and CDMA 1X handsets will be $137 and $134, respectively, Shosteck said. By year-end 2005, they will decline to $58 and $60, respectively, he said.
Albany, N.Y.— Local TV station WXXA here will offer high-speed wireless Internet access to rural homes in the Albany area beginning in December when it begins digital broadcasting. The station is part of Clear Channel Communications, which will offer the service through Clear Channel stations and non-Clear Channel stations. The service will offer cable-modem download speeds and 56k upload speeds for $39.95/month to consumers, who would be able to keep their existing ISP.
Clinton, Miss.— WorldCom plans to sell off its wireless reselling business as part of its restructuring plan to strengthen its cash position. "Slowing market growth, intense pricing pressure, and acquisition cash requirements have rendered WorldCom's position as a pure reseller unprofitable," the company admitted. The company began five years ago to resell other wireless-phone carriers' services under its own brand name, largely to businesses. It has about 2 million subscribers on a variety of networks: analog, TDMA and CDMA. A buyer hasn't yet been found, but other carriers have expressed an interest, the company said. During the transition, MCI said it would serve existing customers. Additionally, once an exit method is determined, customers will have the option of selecting a new provider or transitioning to another carrier.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.