PDD Briefs

By Staff On Apr 20 2009 - 6:00am

PCD Readies New Devices

Hauppauge, N.Y. — Personal Communications Devices (PCD) has unveiled two new CDMA phones and its first non-CDMA wireless modem, a USB model for GSM/HSPA networks.

The UMG181 modem, a Huawei-made device available through T-Mobile, is a quadband EDGE/quadband HSPA model. The HSPA bands are the U.S. 850/1900/AWS bands and the 2100MHz overseas band. Features include MicroSD slot, 7.2Mbps peak downloads, and 5.76Mbps peak uploads. It's also equipped with Wi-Fi.

At T-Mobile, it's called the WebConnect USB Laptop Stick, and it's priced at $49.99 with a two-year contract after rebate or $99.99 with one-year contract, including free unlimited T-Mobile Wi-Fi HotSpot access.

One of PCD's new CDMA phones, the TXT8026, is a version of the 800/1900MHz Blitz offered by PCD to Verizon Wireless, but the new model adds the AWS band. Both feature slide-down QWERTY keyboard/dialing keypad.

The second phone, the TXT8030, is an 800/1900MHz CDMA phone with angled-up QWERTY keyboard/dialing keypad. The keypad swivels around 180 degrees to the back, being replaced in front by speakers and music buttons.

Zer01 Sets Launch Date

Las Vegas — Startup prepaid carrier Zer01 announced a July 1 commercial launch of its unlimited mobile VoIP and data service, a $69.99/month no-contract service that will be bundled with Pharos's Windows Mobile smartphones. The service will also be available for use with any unlocked GSM Windows Mobile smartphone after an over-air software download.

Support for other devices such as Blackberry, Android and iPhone will be available within months, the company said.

Distribution through retailers is planned.

The $69.99 plan includes unlimited calling and data throughout the U.S. For another $10, consumers get unlimited calling to 40 counties. Prices include all taxes and fees except for a $30 activation fee.

To deliver the service, Zer01signed roaming agreements with multiple U.S. GSM carriers to use their data channels to create a national footprint. The service doesn't use the carriers' circuit-switched voice channels for voice calls, thus reducing costs.

1st Sanyo-Brand QWERTY Debuts

San Diego — The first Sanyo-brand cellphone equipped with a hard QWERTY keyboard is the bar-style SCP-2700, due May 10 from Sprint at $29.99.

The CDMA 1x phone with 2,2-inch screen is targeted to “young texters” and parents reluctantly drawn to texting to keep in touch with their kids, said a spokesman for Sanyo parent Kyocera Communications. The phone, available in pink or dark blue, features dedicated text button, ability to place emoticons at the end of a text message, access to social-networking sites, and compatibility with Sprint's POP3/IMAP4 and enterprise-email redirection services. It's also compatible with Sprint's Locator service, which tracks the whereabouts of a phone, and the carrier's selectable restrictions on incoming and outgoing calls. It features 1.3-megapixel camera.

Both the Sanyo and Kyocera brands are marketed by Kyocera Communications, the successor to the Kyocera Wireless and Sanyo North American mobile operations. A few weeks ago, Kyocera Communications parent Kyocera International of North America consolidated the Kyocera and Sanyo mobile operations, but the Sanyo brand will continue for at least three years, with an annual option thereafter to renew for an additional year.

3-Watt Cellular Boosters Unveiled

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A new iBooster line of in-car cellphone-booster kits from Wilson Electronics consists of an iPhone-specific kit, a kit for the BlackBerry Curve and a universal kit designed for most other phones.

The iPhone booster became available in April, and the other two are due May 1. The expected average selling price is $240.

The 3-watt kits are designed to reduce dropped calls, increase data rates in weak signal areas, and make it possible to originate calls in what were previously dead spots while charging the phone, the company said.

Each 3-watt booster kit includes an all-in-one signal amplifier, charger and cradle. Other components include cradle-mounting hardware options, outside magnet-mount antenna and cigarette-lighter power adapter.

A phone needs to sit in the cradle to charge, but phone performance will be improved if it's near the cradle/booster, the company added.

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