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Carriers Support New PocketPC Wireless Handhelds

3/19/2002 10:43:00 AM Eastern

Orlando, Fla. - Microsoft is pushing further into the wireless handheld arena, announcing today, several alignments with wireless carriers to deliver service to Pocket PC and Smartphone based handhelds.

At the CTIA show here, VoiceStream Wireless announced that it will bring wireless high speed GSM/GPRS service (Global System for Mobile/General Packet Radio Service) to Pocket PC Phone Edition based PDAs later this year. This will allow users to access to virtually any Internet site, and will afford secure access to corporate networks, email and PIM software at speeds close to or better than a standard dial up wired connection, said the company.

At the same time, Audiovox announced a new Pocket PC with integrated wireless CDMA2000 1X, which will be marketed and distributed by Verizon Wireless at its retail locations in the second quarter. The new Audiovox Pocket PC integrated phone is called Thera (which means opening or gateway in Greek). It will allow mobile data transmission speeds of 40 to 60 kilobits per second over the Verizon Wireless Network and it will use Sierra Wireless's new SB555 Embedded Module and Watcher modem management software to enable wireless calls, Internet and email access. The new integrated Pocket PC phone measures approximately 3 by 5 inches, and runs on an Intel Strong ARM 206MHz processor. It has 32MB RAM and 32 MB of ROM and ships with a SD card slot plus an IR port. It may also be used as a dual-band CDMA 800MHz and 1900MHz wireless phone.

Sprint also announced that it will distribute the Thera this summer in conjunction with the nationwide launch of its 3G network, allowing data access at speeds up to ten times faster than current 2G networks.

Finally, Cingular said it will become the first wireless carrier to support Microsoft's new Smartphone based PDAs. The first such unit is slated for the US market from Send later this year.