While camera phones and teen-focused messaging services have been the focus of summer marketing campaigns, wireless carriers are not forgetting corporate customers.
Summer launches from AT&T Wireless Services Inc. and Sprint PCS Group include a corporate bent.
NEC America Inc. this week launched a new wireless phone through a partnership with AT&T Wireless.
The NEC 515 High Definition Mobile handset is the first of a series and marks the companys return to the North American cell phone market after a two-year absence.
The quad-band GSM/GPRS hinged phone sports a 2.2-inch high-definition color display, multimedia messaging for several types of picture files, synchronization software from Pumatech, and several features designed around Java support. The phone features a separate processor and one MB of memory dedicated specifically to Java downloads.
NECs software partnerships are focused on Java, too. The company teamed up with Vuico LLC to provide wireless access to corporate data from the 515 phone. Vuicos GoWireless software is based on NTT Software Corp.s Bluegrid middleware. NTT is based in Tokyo and has strong ties with NECs Japanese offices as well as with AT&T Wireless. But officials said Java was the reason to partner with Vuico rather than other wireless e-mail companies that might be better known in the United States but would require additional development work.
"Some of the better-known applications that are in the space dont run on Java," said Scott Spreen, vice president of product planning and business development at NEC America Inc.s Wireless Engineering Division in Irving, Texas. "In this case, for time to market it made sense to have the client be Java-based."
Because the phone includes a high-resolution screen, NEC is touting its gaming capabilities more than its enterprise capabilities, and this mirrors concerns about AT&T Wireless marketing lately. The companys "m Life" campaign is aimed largely at consumers, and the company has been fairly quiet in terms of new corporate devices and services other than network expansion.
"Were on target to deploy EDGE (enhanced data rates for GSM evolution) by the end of the year," said Ritch Blasi, a spokesman for AT&T Wireless in Redmond.
Still, analysts say that the company maintains a good foothold with corporate customers.