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Nokia Phones Cover Cingular's GSM Strategy

Hoping to advance its strategy to support GSM/GPRS networks in the United States, Nokia Tuesday took the wraps off of three new handsets, two of which target business users.

As in the past, Nokia's partner Cingular Wireless will be offering its new phones. The deliveries include the Nokia 6340i phone, a dual-band/tri-mode GAIT compliant handset and the Nokia 3590 and 6590, two new dual band GSM /GPRS products supporting GSM networks at both US frequencies (850/1900MHz).

The GAIT-compliant Nokia 6340i phone (GSM 850/1900MHz/ TDMA 800/1900MHz/ AMPS) is part of Nokia's popular 6300-series. It offers a wide range of features including a synchronizable phone book, calendar and to-do list, wireless Internet browser and text messaging with predictive text input. Voice functions include voice dialing, voice memo recording and voice commands to control frequently used menu options.

A wireless standard, GPRS runs at speeds up to 115 kilobits per second supports a wide range of bandwidth takes advantage of limited bandwidth and is particularly suited for sending and receiving small bursts of data, such as e-mail and Web browsing, as well as large volumes of data.

The dual-band Nokia 6590 weighs 2.9 ounces and features infrared support that could connect to a laptop for a high-speed GPRS data connection. The phone also supports a downloadable Nokia PC Suite, to synchronize phonebook, calendar and to-do list. In addition to the usual voice capabilities, the handset also has an integrated FM radio for enjoying music, news and sports between calls.

For Cingular, the Atlanta-based joint venture between SBC Communications and BellSouth , this is the beginning of its upgrade of its "Wireless Internet Express" service. First launched in California and Reno, Nevada, the wireless provider said users could expect average throughput speeds of 100kbs - 150kbs in a fully loaded environment. The upgrade to other areas should be finished by early 2004.

"Nokia and Cingular have worked closely to bring these exciting new products to the marketplace," said Nokia vice-president Mobile Phones, Americas Pekka Vartiainen. "These products now extend those same capabilities to the GAIT phone that we launched earlier this year and can be used in more places than available with prior models."