Treo Expands to CDMA

Handspring’s Treo communicator, which currently only works on wireless networks based on GSM technology, is migrating to CDMA networks, the company announced Tuesday.

Specifically, Handspring said it would work with Sprint
to develop a CDMA version of the Palm OS-based Treo device, which combines personal information management capabilities with wireless telephony. The device will work with Sprint’s next-generation network, which the operator expects to launch mid-2002.

Handspring said the device will be ready for sale at about the same time Sprint’s faster network rolls out. As is often the case with devices offered by wireless operators, the device will carry the brands of both companies.

The Treo is one of the higher-visibility examples of the new generation of multi-function communicator devices. It has been competing in Europe with the Nokia 9210 communicator, but all major wireless phone vendors either have launched or are promising communicator devices. In addition, Research In Motion said recently it would add voice capabilities to its always-on e-mail BlackBerry devices.

Handspring promised a CDMA version of Treo earlier this year when it initially rolled out the device for GSM networks. GSM is the most widely-used wireless network technology in the world and is widely adopted in Europe and Asia.

However, GSM technology, while gaining popularity in the U.S., is still deployed only by a handful of operators such as VoiceStream and AT&T wireless. As a result, the pact with Sprint greatly expands the North American market for Treo.

David Haskin is managing editor of sister site allNetDevices.

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