By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Middletown, N.J. — AT&T is testing WiMax wireless access technology at its AT&T Labs site, here, and plans to launch one of the industry's first commercial WiMax trials in May, followed by other markets later in the year.
Arlington, Va. — CEA has begun to offer a Wireless Product Specialist Study Guide that wireless retailers can use to train their sales staffs. The 200-page guide provides an overview of the latest cellular technologies, products and services and features selling tips geared toward specific handset types and service plans.
Bedminster, N.J. — Verizon Wireless announced MMS (multimedia messaging service) interoperability with U.S. Cellular, which also plans soon to achieve interoperability with Cingular MMS. Verizon and Cingular MMS became interoperable earlier this year.
Dallas — The industry's first cellphone with speech-to-text conversion, Samsung's EDGE-equipped p207, became available through Cingular's online store at $79.99.
It uses VoiceSignal's VoiceMode technology to convert speech to text to simplify text messaging. Users can also designate the recipient of a text message by speaking the recipient's name or number. It also features speaker-independent voice recognition for name dialing, name lookup, digit dialing, application launch and other functions. The GSM triband (850/1800/1900MHz) is a clamshell with with VGA camera and Java.
Waterloo, Ontario — The second Bluetooth-equipped BlackBerry, the 7250, has been launched by carrier Alltel and MVNO EarthLink Wireless.
The BlackBerry 7250 is a CDMA 1X model featuring text messaging, organizer, HTML Web browsing, corporate data applications, QWERTY keyboard and 65K color screen.
Alltel introduced the handheld to its business customers in select markets at $299.99 with a two-year contract and $359.99 with a one-year contract. The carrier plans to sell the 7250 through its retail stores beginning this summer. Postpaid-voice-calling customers can sign up for unlimited data service for $44.99 per month. The monthly fee increases by $5 if a customer wants to sign up only for the unlimited data service. Through EarthLink, it's bundled with EarthLink's push-based e-mail service and spam- and virus-blocking technology.
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.