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Nokia aims new WAP phones at corporate users
HANOVER, GERMANY (IDG) -- Predicting that 2000 will be the year of the mobile Internet, Nokia executives this week took the wraps off three new data-enabled mobile phone devices targeted mainly at corporate users.
Mobility and the Internet are ready to merge, and mobile phone devices supporting WAP are expected to outsell notebook PCs this year, Matti Alahuhta, president of Nokia's Mobile Phones unit, said in a press conference here at CeBIT.
WAP (wireless application protocol) is a specification for accessing Internet content and services from wireless devices.
"This is the milestone year for WAP in terms of rubber really meeting the road," added S¿ren Jenry Petersen, vice president for cellular mobile telephones at Nokia Mobile Phones.
Noting that market researchers expect some 25 million to 29 million notebook PCs to be sold worldwide this year, Alahuhta declined to give a more detailed prediction of how many WAP-enabled devices Nokia expects will be shipped in 2000.
Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone supplier, has also solved the production problems that until recently held back volume availability of the Nokia 7110, its first WAP-enabled model, Alahuhta said, in a question and answer session. Nokia is now shipping "hundreds of thousands" of the phones each month, he added.
Aimed primarily at mobile professionals, the new Nokia 6210 is a dual-band GSM (global system for mobile devices) handset for use in both 900MHz and 1.8GHz networks, Alahuhta said during his presentation.
It features support for both WAP and HSCSD (high speed circuit switched data), a specification that allows the data rate of GSM networks to increase fourfold to 43.2K-bps. Around 20 mobile phone service operators have already upgraded their networks to HSCSD, while nearly all operators worldwide will offer WAP services, Alahuhta said.
Weighing in at 144 grams with a slim battery, the 6210 features a 95-by-60 pixel display and is only 18 millimeters thick, Nokia said. Its length and width are the same as earlier models in the 6100 series, officials said.
The second new WAP-enabled handset Nokia will show here at the CeBIT show is also the company's first ruggedized model. Designed to be water-, shock- and dust-proof, the Nokia 6250 handset is targeted at professionals, hobbyists and corporate users for use under demanding outdoor conditions, officials said.
Both the 6210 and the 6250 are scheduled to be available in volume quantities by this year's third quarter, Petersen said. Pricing information was not available.
In addition to the two new models, Nokia also announced that it now has added WAP support to its Communicator 9110 device. The new Communicator 9110i also features a large display optimized for viewing graphics and tables over WAP, Petersen said. Older 9110s Communicators can be upgraded by adding a WAP-enabled memory card, he added.
In addition to the WAP devices, Nokia introduced its first so-called world phone, which can be used in both 1.9GHz GSM networks in the U.S. as well as 900MHz networks in the rest of the world, officials said. Called the Nokia 8890, the handset can be used in over 120 countries worldwide when it ships in this year's second quarter, officials said. Pricing was not available.
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