Networking Goes Mobile

New phones and handhelds from Motorola and Hewlett Packard feature Wi-FI networking connectivity with phone service.

The introduction of GSM and Wi-Fi-enabled devices, includingHewlett-Packard Co.s newest iPAQ on Monday and Motorola Inc.s phone rollout on Tuesday, showed one thing: Networking is the hot new trend in mobile devices.

Wi-Fi (802.11) and GSM are sharing time on the same devices. The HP iPAQ h6315 Pocket PC demonstrates this, as we recently witnessed in Labs testing. For example: When you are surfing the Internet in a Wi-Fi hot spot and wander outside of that spot, the iPaq will seamlessly switch networks to the much broader GSM—without dropping you (though your IP address does change.) This is great news for people who are tied (wirelessly) to a hot spot during travel: Now you wont have to be in a specific airlines lounge to browse your e-mail; you can do it wherever, whenever.

Motorolas clamshell phone, the CN620, which also has Wi-Fi and GSM, lets you do the same thing. The CN620 is aimed at corporations looking for a Voice over IP (VoIP) solution. (The iPAQ h6315, which is sold with T-Mobiles GSM service, does not include a VoIP solution.) The CN620 is marketed by Avaya, a supplier of VoIP phone systems for businesses.


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