Communications Briefs

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Remote Music Downloads
Seattle — A service launched by AT&T Wireless lets subscribers use their wireless phone to browse and buy music in compressed Windows Media Audio (WMA) form.

The mMode Music Store works like this: Using a GPRS handset, subscribers can search and browse up to 750,000 songs, then purchase the song from their cellphone. Subscribers can use select phones to sample a 30-second stream of one of the songs. The song can later be downloaded by PC from AT&T’s mMode music store. The song can then be transferred to a WMA-equipped music portable or burned to disc. Songs cost $0.99. Albums are priced down to $9.99.

Battery Of Standards
Washington — CTIA has joined with IEEE to develop design and performance standards for wireless-phone batteries. A working group will consist of wireless carriers, manufacturers, testing labs and testing solution providers to develop “universally accepted quality criteria for wireless phone batteries," said CTIA’s president Steve Largent. The resulting standard, to be called IEEE P1725, will include criteria for electrical and mechanical construction.

Wireless LAN/WAN Card
Bellevue, Wash. — T-Mobile is offering what it believes is the first wireless LAN/WAN card in the U.S. market. The $199 Sony Ericsson GC79 combines wide-area GPRS and local-area IEEE 802.11b Wi-Fi technology for use in T-Mobile’s cellular-data network or in one of T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi hot spots. The GPRS triband card also operates in overseas GPRS networks. Although it doesn’t support handoffs from GPRS to Wi-Fi, another T-Mobile device does. It’s the HP H6315 PDA phone, which the carrier believes became the first wireless LAN/WAN phone available in the United States when it shipped in late August.


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