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GSM/TDMA Phone Debuts

Redmond, Wash. – AT&T Wireless began offering the industry’s first GSM/TDMA phone, the Siemens S46 at $199, through its direct and indirect channels.

The quad-band (800/900/1800/1900MHz) world phone, which incorporates GPRS, is available in the carrier’s GSM markets. Distribution will expand to other markets where GSM service is inaugurated. It’s bundled with two voice plans: a one-rate plan starting at $59.99 for 450 minutes, including all roaming and domestic long distance; another plan starting at $34.99 for 300 minutes includes long distance if the call is made on an AT&T GSM or TDMA network. Data is extra.

The plans are priced comparable with plans available with other AT&T phones.

GSM is available in 25 of AT&T’s top 100 markets and will be in almost every AT&T market by the end of the year, except for small rural markets mainly in the Carolinas. The carrier’s networks reach 98 percent of the U.S. population.

The phone will seek out an AT&T GSM network, then look for an AT&T TDMA network before searching for a roaming partner. The phone also hands off calls from GSM to TDMA cells. It lacks analog cellular mode.