The dual mode handset market ï¿½ handsets capable of seamlessly switching between cellular and WiFi (News - Alert) networks ï¿½ promise unparalleled mobility options for users. With these devices, customers will not only be able to save time by remaining connected, but they also will be able to save money by connecting through WiFi networks, which are being deploying in cities worldwide. Indeed, some reports indicate the market for these devices will eclipse 100 million by the end of this decade, making it a seemingly lucrative opportunity for handset producers.
Naturally, there are challenges involved, as is always the case with cutting edge technology. Battery life has been one hurdle, though most manufacturers now promise upwards of 100 hours of standby time. Cost, of course, is also a major obstacle. These devices will not be inexpensive, at least not for some time, so it may well be that businesses willing to outlay the cash to better enable their workers to communicate on the road will drive the market for these handsets, at least initially. Perhaps most importantly, to maximize the functionality of these devices, the proper switching infrastructures must be in place to take advantage of the seamless transitioning capability.
For business users and consumers alike ï¿½ and they ultimately become one and the same ï¿½ the following is a selection of devices that feature dual mode technology. For more information about the devices, please contact the manufacturers or carriers.
BroadVoiceï¿½s dual mode wireless VoIP/GSM phone, which it calls ï¿½Falcon,ï¿½ allows users to take advantage of BroadVoiceï¿½s unlimited VoIP calling plans using WiFi networks, but allows users to also make calls on cellular networks when outside WiFi coverage.
Once a BroadVoice customer buys the Falcon and activates a phone number, he can begin making and receiving SIP-based VoIP calls over WiFi immediately. As soon as the customer plugs in a standard SIM card GSM-based cellular carrier, he will be able to make cellular calls as well. Calls to either the BroadVoice number or the userï¿½s cellular number can be received on the Falcon.
With BroadVoiceï¿½s E911 capabilities, the integrated Falcon also becomes completely E911 compliant.
BroadVoice announced the Falcon in April, and said the device would be available sometime this summer.
The sleek C1250i video phone is Calypso Wirelessï¿½ WiFi/cellular handset. The phone features Calypsoï¿½s patented ASNAP technology, which enables the seamless roaming of voice, video, and data between Wide Area Network APs, such as cellular towers (GSM/GPRS/EDGE, CDMA, WCMDA) and short-range Internet APs (such as WiFi and Bluetooth) to deliver seamless connectivity to mobile phones, PDAs, and mobile devices.
With the C1250i, users will no longer have to waste precious time to simply send or receive a single still picture or download a graphic intensive Web page. The C1250i connects to the Internet at broadband speeds of 11 MB per second. The unit runs on an Intel (News - Alert) PXA series application processor and Microsoft (News - Alert) WinCE 5.0 OS.
In addition, C1250iï¿½s 30 frames per second video capabilities make phone-to-phone video conferencing simple. The built-in digital camera also enables users to capture all of those special moments and share them instantly with friends, family, and colleagues, as they happen.
Cingular (News - Alert) 8125
Cingularï¿½s 8125 smartphone is a quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) world phone with integrated Bluetooth, WiFi (802.11b), and EDGE support. It sports a full QWERTY keyboard hidden behind the slider design, and supports real-time push e-mail with the addition of Microsoftï¿½s Messaging and Security Feature Pack. For the mobile workforce, that needs to get work done on the road, the 8125 enables it.
The 8125 runs on a 200 MHz OMAP 850 processor running MSWindows Mobile 5, including mobile versions of MS Office applications. The device also includes the ClearVue PDF viewer, which allows users to open PDF files on the 2.8-inch display. The unit supports both corporate and personal e-mail using Outlook Mobile or one of the various other e-mail applications supported. By connecting to a PC with the included USB cable, users can synchronize calendar and contact information with ease.
In addition to allowing up to 12 entries per contact, the device also allows users to add a photo ID for contacts, include them in caller groups, or specify a ring tone.
The N80 is Nokia (News - Alert)ï¿½s first smartphone to simultaneously offer 3G and quad-band GSM, also throwing in EDGE for high-speed data transfers in areas where 3G is not an option, as well as wireless 802.11g. The N80 takes aim at the digital home with its support for the UPnP (Universal plug and Play) protocol, which enables simplified exchange of media between devices in a home network.
The N80 supports the new Nokia Web Browser with Mini Map, providing a semi-transparent zoomed-out overall view of Web pages for simplified navigation. This runs in tandem with the high-resolution, 2.1-inch display of the device, which features the 325 x 416 resolution and a 262k color depth.
The N80 also features a three megapixel camera, which can record still images as well as video that can be stored either to the 40 MB of onboard memory or to a miniSD memory expansion cards, which are available with capacities up to 4 GB. The installed music player supports MP3 and WMA formats as well as AAC, and also includes a FM tuner. A USB 2.0 connection is available for high-speed wired data transfers and the presence of a front-mounted 0.3 MP camera enables video calls.
Paragon Wireless (News - Alert) began selling its WiFi/cellular dual mode phone in the United States earlier this summer. The handset, call the ï¿½Hipi,ï¿½ uses GSM and GPRS for its cellular connections, and WiFi for wireless network connections, including support for SIP-based VoIP communication.
The phone is capable of seamlessly transitioning between cellular and WiFi connections, but, because the central office equipment required for that capability is still rare, most users will, for now, have to choose between VoIP and cellular calling each time. With the right infrastructure, of course, automatic seamless handoff becomes a reality.
The unit supports a complete set of PDA functions, including a Web browser, e-mail, a calendar, and a camera, and is based on an Intel PXA271 processor running Linux. The phone operates using a touch-pad that works with the press of a fingertip. There are a QWERTY keyboard and a number pad available on the phoneï¿½s touch-screen. The screen will also perform handwriting recognition in English and Chinese, and a stylus is hidden in the bottom of the phone for this purpose. The Hipi also comes with a wealth of smart-phone features, including the ability to record and play video and to play MP3 files.
Pirelli Broadband Solutions DP-L10
The Pirelli Discus DualPhone DP-L10 is a dual-mode GSM/SIP WiFi handset, combining tri-band capabilities with the support of SIP VoIP via an integrated WLAN 802.11g interface. The DualPhone works like a standard cell phone ï¿½ any GSM SIM card will work and cell phone features such as SMS, MMS, e-mail, and Internet browsing are easily enabled.
The unit is designed to switch between GSM and WLAN VoIP networks, either automatically or as specified by the user, providing the combination of a mobile and a cordless broadband phone.
Pirelliï¿½s software supports seamless roaming, zero touch registration, and remote manageability, and the unit is designed to operate in a multi-vendor, standards-based environment.
Pirelliï¿½s SIP WiFi serviceoriented portfolio includes Pirelliï¿½s AWR WLAN extender, a self-configuring WiFi repeater supporting extended indoor coverage and seamless WLAN roaming; Pirelliï¿½s Multiplay Access Gateways, delivering dual mode phone QoS and service provisioning; and Pirelliï¿½s PMP Management Platform, a TR-069 remote management system that supports the provisioning, diagnostics, and software upgrades for the entire Pirelli FMC suite.
Quorum Systems Sereno UM-1
Quorum Systems, in collaboration with Analog Devices (News - Alert) and TTPCom, offers the Sereno UM-1, a GSM/SIP-based Voice over WiFi dual-mode handset. Housed in a small form-factor clam-shell design, the UM-1 is based upon Quorumï¿½s unique QS2000 single-chip bulk-CMOS multi-mode transceiver.
With Quorumï¿½s Multi-Access Technology (QMAT) at the heart of the device, the Sereno UM-1 has more than double the WiFi range for voice applications when compared to todayï¿½s cordless VoIP. In cellular mode, the technology also provides increased talk and standby time while enabling seamless handoff between cellular and WiFi networks.
The UM-1 fully supports concurrent operation of 802.11 b/g and GSM/GPRS/EDGE for both voice and data applications and is optimized for VoIP over WiFi connections. It also features multimedia capabilities, such as 64-tone polyphonic ringer, SMS/EMS/MMS messaging client, a 262k color main display, and WAP2.0 compliant browser.
Perhaps most notable about the UM-1 is that, unlike some comparable designs, it is said to make GSM/WiFi capability available for less than $100.
Samsung (News - Alert)ï¿½s SGH-P200 is an Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) phone, which allows for seamless handover between cellular networks and WiFi (802.11 b/g) hotspots. As such, it is capable of freely switching between GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and wireless LAN networks voice and data communication in both mobile and fixed environments. With the P200, users can engage in high-speed large-capacity data communication or VoIP, either via a cellular network or a local WiFi connection.
The P200 features a sophisticated slide-up design and several cutting-edge features, including a 1.3-megapixel camera, camcorder, multimedia messaging system (MMS), and MP3 and file viewer functionality.
The handset has a 1.9-inch 262k-color TFT screen and includes 80 MB of embedded memory.
Shanghai Simcom, a subsidiary company of SIM Technology Group, and Kineto Wireless are together developing a UMA-enabled mobile handset. Simcom will integrate Kineto Wirelessï¿½ UMA client software into dual mode (GSM/EDGE and WiFi) handsets.
Following testing of the device, the result will be a handset that conforms to 3GPP standards and UMA specifications, which together will enable seamless mobility between WiFi and GSM networks.
The powerful and feature-rich Sprint (News - Alert) PCS VisionSM Smart Device PPC-6700 runs on Windows Mobile 5.0 and sports a smaller and lighter form factor than most traditional Pocket PC devices. The unit has multiple ways of connecting: built-in EV-DO, WiFi, CDMA, Bluetooth, USB. The unit is powered by a 416MHz Intel processor and includes 128MB of SDRAM, providing enough power to run programs and phone functions quickly and smoothly.
The attached QWERTY keyboard can be accessed by sliding the entire front face of the device to the side, while the screen simultaneously switches to landscape mode. The unit comes with a 1.3 megapixel digital camera and camcorder. A mini SD card can be added for extra storage space, which also is useful when transferring music, video, or additional applications from a desktop PC. The Sprint PPC-6700 measures 4.2 x 2.3 x 1 inches and weighs a mere 6.1 ounces.
For e-mail support, the PPC-6700 offers synchronization with Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Server, and also allows access to POP3 and IMAP e-mail clients. As a bonus, Sprint includes the AudiblePlayer application for listening to Audible.com content, and a trial version of Citrix GoToMyPC.
The T-Mobile (News - Alert) MDA features a full sliding keyboard to make the most of its GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and WiFi (802.11b) connectivity options, which make it easy to jump onto available hot spots, manage messages, open and edit documents, surf the Web, or listen to music.
The unit has a 2.9-inch display, and measures 4.3 x 2.3 x 0.9 inches. The MDA runs on Microsoftï¿½s Windows Mobile 5 OS, which includes Microsoftï¿½s Mobile Office suite, including mobile versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, plus mobile Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. With an upgrade to Microsoftï¿½s Messaging and Security Feature Pack, users will have available true push e-mail and real-time contact, appointment, and mail synchronization with Exchange servers.
The MDA also acts as a world phone with its quad-mode GSM abilities, and can access T-Mobileï¿½s EDGE network for download speeds up to 135 kbps.
While the Thuraya SG-2520 is not WiFi compatible, it does offer unparalleled global connectivity with its dual mode GSM/satellite connectivity ï¿½ which means that you can use it anywhere in the world: in the middle of an ocean, inside a cave, in the Amazon, or in the middle of the Mojavi Desert.
In addition to tri-band GSM and satellite coverage, Thuraya also offers GPS features in its lightweight, elegant and easy to use handset, which also supports data, fax, and short messaging services in addition to voice communication ï¿½ which means that users can easily conduct business regardless of where they are traveling. When the unit cannot connect via a GSM network, it will switch to satellite mode by connecting through an artificial satellite, which results in no extra roaming costs to the user.
The SG-2520 also includes several added features not available on many other satellite phones, like an integrated MP3 and video player, 1.3Megapixel camera, Bluetooth connectivity, both infrared and USB communication, and a 1.9-inch full-color hi-res screen.
Winstron NeWeb Corp. GW1
Taiwanese manufacturer WNC (Wistron NeWeb Corp.) specializes in advanced wireless communication. Late last, the company began mass production of it candybar style GW1 GSM/WiFi dual mode phone, which provides users the ability to automatically switch between VoIP and traditional voice over GSM. In addition its dual mode telephony, the GW1 also features IPTV (News - Alert) capability, MP3 playback, Web browsing, and POP3 e-mail. For CDMA users, WNC also offers a CDMA version, which also adds GPS functionality.
The GW1 features ï¿½always onï¿½ signal coverage with its support of WiFi and GSM coverage, including an Internet browser, allowing for sending of e-mails or Web browsing. The GW1 also supports Instant Messaging, the latest craze in mobile communications. The embedded memory provides for mass storage, including music that can be played using the handsetï¿½s MP3 player.
The main display on the GW1 is a 2-inch 262k color TFT LCD. The handset itself measures 4.2 inches by 1.7 inches and is a mere 0.7 inches thick. IT
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