By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
WASHINGTON — The FCC is seeking public comments on the use of five new bands for 3G services. Those bands, however, don't conform to the 1710-1855MHz band set aside by the International Telecommunications Union (IT) for worldwide 3G use. The five new bands are used by mobile satellite operators, amateur radio operators, unlicensed PCS services and other users. These bands, representing a total of 110MHz of spectrum, were identified by the FCC after the commission delayed consideration of 330MHz of spectrum after objections by their current users. The military uses some of that spectrum for controlling satellites, including GPS satellites. The rest of that spectrum is used by fixed-wireless providers and nonprofit groups. The five new bands under discussion are 1910-1930MHz, 1990-2025MHz, 2150-2160MHz, 2165-2200MHz, and 2390-2400MHz. The bands previously proposed are 1755-1850MHz, which is used by the military, and 1710-1755MHz and 2500-2690MHz.
WESTBOROUGH, MASS. — Arch expanded its suite of e-mail services with a suite of services that let two-way messaging devices share a user's personal or corporate e-mail account. One solution lets users of dial-up ISPs such as AOL and EarthLink, web-based e-mail programs such as Yahoo, and college e-mail servers to manage their e-mail without using a PC or laptop. The service is free to users of Arch's Motorola-made T900 device. Other services provide the same functionality to corporate e-mail users.
VERNON HILLS, ILL. — ArialPhone continued to expand distribution of its first consumer product, a cordless earset phone, by reaching a distribution agreement with CommuniTech, an Elk Grove Village, Ill., company that distributes telephony products and hands-free communications and conferencing equipment. CommuniTech's channels include direct sales, resellers, and e-commerce sites.
The $399-suggested ArialPhone cordless earset phone lets users voice-dial phone numbers stored in a connected-PC's contact list. Fry's Electronics, RCS Computer Experience, and the Hello Direct catalog are among the company's accounts.
BOSTON — Sales of wireless phones in the U.S. will hit 154 million in 2006, when the number of subscribers will hit 250 million, a Strategy Analytics forecast says. U.S. penetration will exceed 50 percent in 2002, the company adds. "The introduction of next-generation systems, [and] improved marketing of prepaid and data services to U.S. users, is forecast to regenerate a market that is slowing in its traditional growth patterns and in need of a boost," the company said.
SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — Carriers and retailers have begun selling a folding full-size keyboard that consumers can use with Motorola's iDEN-network i85s and i50sc smart phones at a suggested $99. The Motorola iBoard keyboard can be used to enter text messages and PIM data, launch PIM programs, surf the web, adjust volume, and control other phone functions. It's made by Think Outside, which also makes portable keyboards for handheld computers.
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.