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Newest Cordless Telephones Allow Conversations to Go Amazing DistancesAired October 3, 2000 - 2:48 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: If your cordless phone conks out when you walk into the next room, but your conversation comes through loud and clear on your neighbor's AM radio -- you know how it goes -- never fear, technogadget-guy Ed Curran is here. This week he has new cordless models that keep your conversations private and let you keep talking miles from home if that's what you'd like to do.
Here's Ed -- hi, Ed.
ED CURRAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi; good afternoon, Natalie.
Do you still have a phone in your house with a cord on it? You probably have one or two, but really, all in all, people are going cordless and love the freedom of cordless phones.
The original cordless phone I had -- I remember, on my corded phone I could actually get further away with. You could go very short distances with my original corded phone -- cordless phone, I should say.
This is a great model of telephone. A lot of the phones that you find are 900 megahertz -- a basic, straightforward telephone like this one, which happens to be from Sony, is a good spread-spectrum telephone. That's something you want to look for when you're buying telephones.
First of all, the 900 megahertz range is a good place to be -- 2.4 gigahertz, which we'll show you in just a moment, and also spread- spectrum. If you see the words "digital spread spectrum," it means that there's frequency hopping going on, and that your conversation is encoded. The spread-spectrum technology that you typically find on telephones was technology that, until recent years, was used by the military to keep people from eavesdropping on their conversations; and now you can use it as well in your cordless telephones. A telephone like this one -- very basic, and you actually find them in stores for as little as $99.
Now, this is the latest advancement in cordless telephones, and that is going to 2.4 gigahertz. It's a higher frequency -- 900 megahertz is a frequency range where a lot of cellular telephones are; 2.4 gigahertz operates way up at a range near where your microwave oven operates. And with a telephone like this one from Siemens, not only do you use 2.4 gigahertz to have crystal clear conversations, and also the top encryption technology, so people can't listen to your phone conversation but, also, it's an expandable system. So you can have a handset like this one on a base, and then elsewhere in the house, you can have a little changing base with another handset that you buy for about $129 and have an extension phone.
You can have as many as eight different telephones around the house just by plugging a base station into the AC socket in the wall and dropping a handset in. These units, in their most basic form, go for a little over $100, and they go up from there into some pretty sophisticated telephone systems. This is good to have at home, and also good to have if you have a home office or a small business or that type of thing -- 2.4 gigahertz.
This, from Panasonic. You talked about how far you can go with your telephone and what a pain it is when you can't go very far. This, from Panasonic -- and it's the GigaRange phone. When they first demonstrated this, they did it for the press in Times Square. They walked six blocks through Times Square without a dropout.
This uses 900 megahertz in one direction, 2.4 gigahertz in the other direction; allows them to boost the power on both those frequencies, and the GigaRange phone from Panasonic gives you extra- long range. Probably about eight times further than a 900 megahertz regular-type of telephone. That's the GigaRange from Panasonic.
Now, this one is very, very different. This is an extra-long- range phone. It's called the EnGenius phone. this is the base unit, here, and these are the handsets -- and this can go up to eight miles. Now, that's in the ideal situation of an open, like, country setting, you might get 8 miles with this. But it is an extremely long-range telephone. Two of the handsets actually will operate between each other like two-way radios do.
So it's a super-long range telephone, operates at 900 megahertz, they just boost the power a whole lot and give you the ability to walk around a large warehouse, to walk around an apartment building or to walk eight miles from our house.
ALLEN: Wherever you wanted to go.
CURRAN: Maybe eight miles from your house, with this type of thing, and still be in touch. So a really cool system. A little pricey, though, about $350.
ALLEN: All right, Ed; thanks so much. We appreciate it.
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