Wireless Wire: News from T-Mobile, Good Technology, Alcatel, MegaPixi, Equal, Sprint, Altai, FCC

T-Mobile will release the new BlackBerry Pearl; Good Technology will support the new Treo; Alcatel will acquire Nortel 3G; MegaPixi Mobile and Equal Mobile will deliver humorous greeting cards; Sprint will offer pay-per-view movies on phones; Altai touts

T-Mobile to Launch New BlackBerry

T-Mobile USA will be the first wireless carrier to release the new BlackBerry Pearl. According to the announcement on Sept. 7 from T-Mobile, the new BlackBerry is "Ultra-Sleek." Take a look at the photo we asked for and you can judge for yourself what this means in the world of the usually porky BlackBerry. T-Mobile said the new device will debut on Sept. 12, during CTIA.

The new Pearl has a number of features that havent been on BlackBerry devices in the past, such as an included music player, a 1.3 megapixel camera and instant messaging clients. It also provides normal BlackBerry e-mail support, an HTML browser and some standard cell phone features such as voice dialing, speakerphone and Bluetooth. In other words, its a lot like a Palm Treo, but thinner.

T-Mobile hasnt said what the new BlackBerry will cost, but its aimed at least to some extent at consumers, so it probably wont be totally in expense-account land. On the other hand, its a quad-band GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) phone that will work anywhere on Earth, so it can serve business customers, too.

Good to Support New Treo

Speaking of the Treo, Good Technology announced on Sept. 5 support for the new Palm Treo 700wx. This new version of the Treo 700 works on Sprints Power Vision network. This means it can send data very quickly, in addition to acting as an organizer and doing other Palm-like things. Unfortunately, it runs Windows Mobile, which means it will be slower and harder to use than it needs to be. On the other hand, Good already supports the Treo 700p, which runs the Palm operating system.


Alcatel to Acquire Nortel 3G

Alcatel, a French communications company, announced on Sept. 5 that it is planning to acquire the 3G part of Nortels wireless business for $320 million. Nortel is a Canadian company. The apparent rationale for this purchase is so that Alcatel can become more competitive in China. This may also be the reason why the company is trying to merge with Lucent Technologies in the United States. Is this wireless stuff global or what?

MegaPixi, Equal Team to Deliver Greetings

Just in case you didnt have enough ways to use your wireless bandwidth, MegaPixi Mobile has announced on Sept. 6 that its teaming with Equal Mobile to deliver mobile video greeting cards. The people at MegaPixi say the greetings will be edgy and humorous. The greetings include titles such as "Birthday Cake" and "Burning Heart." Now all they need is one titled "Rolaids" and the set will be complete.

Sprint to Offer Movies

Sprint Nextel announced on Sept. 6 that the company will be providing pay-per-view movies that you will be able to watch on your phone. Some 45 titles will be available initially from companies including Buena Vista, Sony Pictures and Universal. Youll pay $3.99 to $5.99 for the privilege of getting to watch a movie on a tiny screen for an unlimited number of times in 24 hours, when youre in range of Sprints Power Vision network. The company suggested that one reason you might want to do this is to keep kids busy in the back seat. Removing any last vestige of fun, Sprint said the movies will be edited to stay within TV-14 standards.

Altai Develops Better Wireless Base Station

Hong Kong-based Altai Technologies told eWEEK.com on Sept. 4 that the company has developed a new Wi-Fi cellular base station that can cover 10 times the area of other products. As Wi-Fi antennas go, it looks pretty ugly in the photo Altai sent, but if it works as well as the company says it does, who cares?

FCC Uses the F-Word

In an official statement issued on Sept. 7, FCC spokesperson Tamara Lipper hailed a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals that stayed an FCC finding that brief uses of profanity on television were against the law. The court said broadcasters should have been heard first. For reasons that remain unclear, the FCC said it was pleased that it was slapped down by the court. Lipper said this indicates that Hollywood wants to use "the F-word" (in her words) any time it wants. This apparently stems from a live broadcast in which Nicole Richie used the dreaded F-word as well as the equally dreaded S-word (Lippers description again) thus using two of the Carlin Collection in one swoop. Its not really wireless news, but we thought youd like to know.

Next week: Its CTIA in Los Angeles. Stand by for lots of fun-filled Wireless Weirdness and Wonderful Widgets.


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Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...