Nokia Connects With WiFi Phone

The world's largest cell phone maker joins the recent parade of companies offering WiFi handsets.

Interest in cell phones that can switch from traditional mobile networks to broadband-based calls continues to grow with Nokias Sept. 20 announcement of a new phone with WiFi capabilities.

The 6301 uses UMA (unlicensed mobile access) technology to allow users to take advantage of either a GSM network or a broadband Internet-connected WLAN (wireless LAN) network for mobile services. Europes Orange mobile network will be the first to offer the phone.

"The convergence of mobile and fixed/land-line technologies means consumers are looking for products that can help make their lives easier," Peter Ropke, Nokias senior vice president for mobile phones, said in a statement.

Nokia, of Helsinki, Finland, said UMA technology benefits operators as well as consumers, allowing operators deliver voice and data services to subscribers over WLAN, substantially increasing mobile service availability while decreasing the costs related to network deployment.


To read more about the ITCs probe into Nokias 3G handset, click here.

In the United States, Research in Motion, of Waterloo, Ontario, said Sept. 19 it is releasing its first Blackberry with WiFi capabilities. The service runs on AT&Ts network. T-Mobile is also offering WiFi service for its handsets. The service—available through T-Mobile hot spots—costs $10 in addition to a users standard service charges.

The BlackBerry 8820 provides support for 802.11a, b and g with enterprise security features. Customers can use the model to link to their enterprise through home WiFi networks. Customers are also able to access broadband services through AT&T, based in San Antonio, Texas.

According to a statement by Jeff Bradley, a senior vice president at AT&T, the new BlackBerry gives "customers the ability to link with their companys wireless campus network or access e-mail and browse the Web at WiFi hot spots."


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