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More AWS-Banded Phones Popping Up

Multiple suppliers unveiled some of the first phones that operate in the new 1,700/2,100MHz Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum. The phones included models from the following suppliers:

Samsung: The CDMA 1x EV-DO MyShot and Spex are the company’s first phones operating in the AWS spectrum and are available through Leap Wireless. They also operate in 850/1,900MHz networks.

Leap became the first carrier last month to offer an AWS-banded phone when it began selling a $119 UTStarcom model in Tulsa. The Samsung models are priced at $119 and $149. All models are CDMA 1x EV-DO models that also operate in Leap’s 1.9GHz spectrum and in 850MHz spectrum.

The phones will be available “soon” in all Cricket markets nationwide, the carrier said. Although Leap hasn’t issued a timetable for launching AWS service, the company plans to turn on AWS spectrum in new markets “soon” to complement its 1.9GHz markets. Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis and Las Vegas will be among the first AWS markets that it expects to launch. The company and its joint ventures operate in 23 states and hold licenses in 35 of the top 50 U.S. markets.

The $149 MyShot is the first AWS-banded phone with camera, a 1.3- megapixel model with self-timer and multishot capabilities. Other features include Bluetooth, Web browsing, downloadable ringtones and graphics, downloadable games and applications, text- and picture-messaging capabilities, speakerphone, and personal tools such as calendar, clock and calculator.

The $119 Samsung Spex features a sleek design, color display, speakerphone, and personal tools such as calendar and memo pad. It also supports Leap services such as text messaging, Web browsing, and downdloadable ringtones, graphics, games, and applications.

UTStarcom: The company’s personal communications group showcased its first three mobile devices that operate in the new AWS spectrum, All are or will be available in the spring to consumers.

All three are CDMA 1x EV-DO models that operate in the U.S. 850/1,900MHz bands as well as in the AWS spectrum.

One of the phones, the CDM7126, became available to consumers in March through Leap Wireless at $119 in Tulsa, Okla., where AWS service hadn’t yet been turned on. The carrier plans to turn on AWS spectrum in new markets to complement its 1.9GHz markets.

The CDM7126 is a 3.5 by 1.8 by 0.7-inch phone featuring a metallic case with external indicators that alert users of incoming calls and messages when the phone is closed. The Bluetooth-equipped handset features speakerphone, polyphonic ringtones, text messaging, voice recognition, predictive text input, Web browsing and five hours of talk time.

The next AWS phone is the clamshell CDM7176, which adds VGA camera and BREW technology, used by Verizon Wireless to download applications over the air.

The third device is a wireless USB model with theoretical 3.1Mbps upload speeds and 1.8Mbps download speeds.

ZTE: Two AWS-banded CDMA phones, which also operate in the 850/1,900MHz spectrum, will join the company’s first U.S. phone, an 850/1,900MHz phone available through a carrier — MetroPCS — that also plans to launch AWS-band service.

The C78 candybar phone sports VGA camera, Web browsing and Bluetooth. The C79 music phone is a clamshell phone with MP3 player, 1.3-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, microSD slot and dual displays. Additional details were unavailable.