Communications Briefs

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Panasonic Ships Trimodes

Secaucus, N.J. - Panasonic's latest TDMA trimode phones, the 2.7-ounce Allure and 3.1-ounce Versio, are available through AT&T Wireless at $149 and $129 and will be available by mid-November from some AT&T affiliate carriers.

Standard features include choice of six backlight colors, speakerphone, two-way SMS, and battery delivering 140 talktime minutes or 200 standby hours. The Allure adds 40-number voice command, voice recorder, and ability to store 250 names, each with four phone numbers and an email address. Versio features interchangeable faceplates, 100-name storage (each with up to four numbers and an email address), and ability to attach individual ring tones and backlight colors to incoming calls from people whose numbers are stored in phone memory.

Air-Interface Roaming Seen

Murray Hill, N.J. - Lucent's Bell Labs research unit has developed wireless-infrastructure software that will enable global roaming across different types of wireless networks.

If deployed by carriers, frequent travelers could own a European GSM phone and a U.S. CDMA phone that would share the same account, phone number and network features. When in a GSM area, a phone call to the subscriber would ring the GSM phone, and when the subscriber is in a CDMA area, the CDMA phone would ring. The technology could potentially be used in conjunction with multi-band, multi-format phones.

That's Mobile Entertainment!

Helsinki, Finland - Nokia's 5510 mobile entertainment device combines a wireless phone and text-messaging device with a flash-memory MP3/AAC player, FM stereo radio, and game machine. The GSM 900/1800MHz phone is due Q4 in overseas markets where mobile messaging is a mature market, a spokesman said. It's expected to retail for about 400 Euros ($360). No plans have been announced for a U.S. version.

The device features full QWERTY keyboard, 64MB of memory for compressed music, microbrowser, five embedded games, stereo headset, and 10 radio presets. With the introduction, Nokia said it has invented a new entertainment category.

Phones Get Enterprise E-Mail

Atlanta - Cingular Wireless is offering an enterprise service that lets GSM and TDMA phones share a subscriber's Microsoft Exchange corporate e-mail address. Called Cingular Xpress Mail, the service will be available first in October to GPRS/GSM subscribers in the Seattle area. It will deliver subject headers from a user's desktop inbox to a phone. Users can then download the emails they want to view on the handset. For IT departments, the service requires no installation of hardware or software.

VoiceStream Getting EDGE

Bellevue, Wash. - GSM carrier VoiceStream has contracted with Nortel and Ericsson to install EDGE high-speed packet-data capability in select markets.

Sprint Affiliate To Do 1X

Chillicothe, Ohio - Sprint PCS affiliate Horizon PCS is upgrading its CDMA network to CDMA2000 1X and will begin offering 1X service commercially in summer 2002.

Horizon, which markets under the Sprint PCS name, offers service in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, and portions of New York and New Jersey with a population of 10.2 million people.

Cingular, Voicestream Share Resources

Atlanta -- Cingular Wireless will begin offering GSM service in the New York City market in mid-2002, and Voicestream will begin offering GSM service in California and Nevada around the same time, as a result of a GSM infrastructure-sharing agreement in those markets. Voicestream owns the New York infrastructure, and Cingular owns the infrastructure in the other markets. In announcing the plan, Cingular continued to hint that it will convert its TDMA markets to GSM.


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