T-Mobile Introduces Dash ... Wide Area Wireless ... Novatel Announces New HSDPA Card ... Trapeze Has Smart APs ... FCC Acts on Qualcomm Request ... Fantasy Announcement.
The post-CTIA doldrums have finally dissipated, so once again we have wireless news to pass along. No doubt youre not surprised to know that manufacturers and service providers save up their Good Stuff to wow us with all at once. If they didnt, we wouldnt go to those shows and their controlled-message environments, and then where would we be?
T-Mobile Introduces Dash
T-Mobile USA is one company that doesnt save up everything for the show. The reach of its massive parent, Germanys Deutsche Telekom, is more or less beyond any single US show.
While T-Mobile USA isnt huge, the company as a whole is three times the size of any U.S.-based wireless company. That gives it leverage to bring out products like the Dash, which is a smart phone that uses Windows Mobile 5.0 to deliver everything from push e-mail to music. The Dash is made by HTC, a major smart phone manufacturer.
In September, T-Mobile introduced the BlackBerry Pearl, which fills similar functions, but handles BlackBerrys version of push e-mail.
The Dash has a full QWERTY keyboard, a relatively large color screen, and it supports Wi-Fi, a plus for T-Mobile and its thousands of HotSpots.
The Dash feature set hits just about every hot button you can think of. It does Bluetooth, plays Microsoft Media Player 10, and supports a wide variety of personal e-mail providers in addition to working with Exchange.
It comes with Outlook Mobile, clients for most popular instant messaging systems, it has expandable memory and a 1.3 megapixel camera. They are for sale Oct. 25.
Get more information here.
Wide Area Wireless
Its been a big week for large scale wireless announcements. Aruba Networks, for example, is saying it will deploy a huge wireless network at Ohio State University.
The 10,000 AP network will be built over five years and will serve 77,000 students, faculty and staff. Aruba didnt tell us the value of the deal, but we hope that OSU got the education discount.
In nearby Dublin, Ohio, meanwhile, Cisco is trumpeting a municipal mesh network, in which its mobile access routers are installed.
The network will use Cisco Aironet 1500 mesh access points as well as Cisco 4400 Wireless LAN Controllers and Cisco 3200 Mobile Access Routers.
The wireless network is designed to cover the core downtown area of this Ohio community. The wireless network will be used for local government and public safety, and will be made available to individual and business users.
Cisco, along with IBM and Azulstar Networks have been chosen to provide municipal wireless services to Winston Salem, N.C.
The project is expected to eventually span all of Forsythe County, which is where Winston Salem is located. Final negotiations start later in October.
Eventually the wireless network is supposed to make Winston Salem into a "Digital City" in which it will become a prototype for how wireless connectivity can improve the quality of life. At least, thats what it says in the press release.
It didnt explain how their prototyping would be different from all those cities that have already announced similar plans.
Get more information here.
Novatel Announces New HSDPA Card
It looks like high-speed, ubiquitous wireless access is getting even easier. Novatel Wireless is announcing the commercial availability of its Merlin XU870 HSDPA card.
The card, which is intended to function globally, also works with UMTS networks. The new card can support data rates up to 7.2 megabits per second.
Its a tri-band HSDPA and UMTS and quad-band EDGE/GPRS unit that should work just about anywhere. The company announced new high-speed EV-DO cards last month. Get more information here.
Trapeze Has Smart APs
Trapeze Networks is announcing a new series of smart access points that perform more work at the network edge.
Its aimed at the VoWLAN market, but the company says it also makes sense in situations where traffic does not need to go to the network hub. The company says that this is being done to get the industry ready for 802.11n.
According to the company, its Smart Mobile system uses what it calls "Intelligent Switching." This means that routs traffic more efficiently, and avoiding the network core where possible. However, the new Trapeze product would still be centrally controlled. Get more information here.
FCC Acts on Qualcomm Request
Meeting in Washington, D.C., in one of their open meetings, the Federal Communications Commission has agreed to Qualcomms request for a judgment regarding interference rules in the 700 MHz band.
The ruling would allow the company to move ahead with its planned MediaFLO service, which would deliver video, music and broadband access to consumers.
Qualcomm will be required to protect television on channels 54, 55 and 56 during the development of this service.
The FCC also acted to allow the use of low-powered wireless devices on vacant television channels.
And finally, theres this. Sprint has announced a service for fantasy football players that will allow them to manage their teams on the go.
The critically vital service is called NFL.Com Fantasy Companion. The service sells for $3.99 per month.
This is a companion application to Sprints NFL Mobile, which gives you up-to-date game information and is free. No word on whether even a Fantasy Companion can find a way to give the Redskins a winning season.
Get more information here.
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Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.
He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.