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New TDMA, PCS Phones From Ericsson

Ericsson is pumping up the talktime of select new wireless TDMA-trimode and PCS-1900 phones by 40% and tapping a new niche with a ruggedized TDMA trimode phone that features two-way radio functionality.

Longer talk- and standby times are the hallmark of the new TDMA trimode T18d and GSM-based T18z, which will deliver 40% more talktime and almost 100% more standby time than the models they’ll replace, said product manager Ted Browne.

They weigh 5.4 ounces on standard NiMH battery delivering up to 3.5 hours of digital talktime or five days of standby time.

The two data-capable phones feature built-in vibrating alert, active flip, a battery that charges in only 60 minutes, and the ability to customize features for use at different times of the day, such as work or drive time. The two ship in the fall in four color options at an expected subscriber price of about $199.

Another new model, the ruggedized TDMA trimode R250d PRO, is due in the fall at subscriber prices expected to range from $299 to $350. With a sealed rubber frame that delivers water-, shock- and dust-resistance, the phone is targeted to such niches as the construction industry. Also to target such niches, the phone features a two-way radio push-to-talk capability usable in networks supporting the feature. No TDMA network currently supports the capability, but Southwestern Bell plans trials, said Browne.

The two-way radio feature will allow for group calling, he said.

Another new TDMA trimode phone, targeted to entry-level users, features a menu system said to make it unnecessary to consult the phone’s manual.

Due in the fall at an expected $49 to $79, the A1228d also boasts a 40% gain in talktime over the model it will replace. It weighs about 6.5 ounces with standard NiMH battery delivering three hours of digital talktime or about 100 hours of standby time.