Communications Briefs

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Audiovox Lands Virgin

Hauppauge, N.Y. - Virgin Mobile USA has begun selling its first Audiovox phone, the CDM-8500. The $129 8500 is the first clamshell-style phone to be offered by Virgin.

The 3.2-ounce trimode CDMA 1X phone features a blue-lighted keypad, dual LCD screens with animation and seven backlighting colors that light with Caller ID. These colors can be programmed to change each time the phone is flipped open. The 8500 also offers downloadable polyphonic ring tones - including favorite Top 20 hits - two-way speaker phone functionality and SMS text messaging.


New Orleans - LG Electronics chairman John Koo said his company will offer a GSM/GPRS/EDGE camera phone for the U.S. market 'in a few months' in the U.S. Speaking during the recent CTIA show, he also said he plans second-half U.S. availability of a CDMA EV-DO phone. In Korea, LG already offers an EV-DO phone with built-ion camera, two LCD screens, and video-on-demand capability. In July, the company plans a European launch of an EDGE videophone that lets users view each other during a conversation.

Videophones Down Road

New Orleans - Sprint PCS doesn't plan to offer videophone service this year, in part because of expected low demand but also because of device and network issues, said Chip Novick, Sprint PCS's consumer marketing vice president. He spoke during the CTIA show.


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