Mobile handsets down the line for SMBs

This year's 3GSM revealed a whole host of products. We look at some that SMBs may find useful

It’s traditional at this time of year for the telecoms industry to unveil a whole host of new products and services at the 3GSM exhibition and this year’s show in Barcelona was no exception.

All of the major mobile phone suppliers announced plans for innovative products which will be available by the second quarter of 2006. Here’s what they have in mind for the next few months.

Nokia will be releasing a very large variety of mobile devices with stunning designs that will see use both in the business and consumer segments. By far the main attraction at 3GSM, by design anyway, was the Nokia N92, the world’s first mobile TV with an in-built Digital Video Broadcasting-Handhelds (DVB-H) receiver.

Yet for SMBs, probably the most significant item was the fact that Nokia's Series 80 enterprise smart phones can now be equipped with Avaya Communication Manager software, enabling the phone users to be accessible via one business number and use a single voicemail system whether they are in the office or mobile.

This means that irrespective of their work locations, users have access to the same enterprise communication capabilities found in the office—such as call conferencing, transfers, call recording, abbreviated dialling— all using the corporate IP network. Also, the application allows users to switch between personal and business calls, avoiding the need to manually separate the different calls for billing purposes.  Global availability of IP telephony over GSM from Nokia's S60 smart phones will be extended to the Nokia series 80 smart phones by the summer.

Of Sony Ericsson’s portfolio at 3GSM, the stand out item was the W950 an ultra-slim, ultra-stylish, UMTS-enabled device with 4 Gbytes of onboard storage. In short an MP3 Walkman with email and multimedia messaging.

For SMBs, it would be worth looking at the M600 phone and messaging device. Just 15 mm thick, device is a fully specified email tool and mobile phone featuring touch screen and handwriting recognition; a large dual function keyboard for messaging input;  a 3-way Jog Dial; and a 2.6" QVGA screen, capable of handling 262K colours.

M600 has 80 Mbytes of onboard memory for storing email attachments and multimedia content and also provided in the box is an additional 64 Mbytes Memory Stick Micro, a new recording media designed for highly compact mobile devices. The M600 is the first Sony Ericsson product to feature this new memory card.

The company has also included McAfee anti-virus & firewall software for cellular applications and Pointsec encryption on a try & buy basis. Certicom VPN client for secure access to corporate networks is offered free of charge.

The M600 is and starts shipping during the second quarter of 2006. Regional variations of the M600 include dual-mode UMTS and GPRS 900/1800/1900 MHz, and it is available in four hardware keyboard variants: QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY and Russian.

Samsung is to launch a range of products covering a number of segments from the office to home including mobile TV products.

For the business environment, and supporting next-generation high-speed HSDPA mobile networks, Samsung will have the Z560. The device offers web browsing, streaming and content downloads at potential speeds up to 3.6 mega bits per second (Mbps). 

In keeping with the current design trend, Samsung will launch a line-up of new ultra slim phones with an average thickness that is less than 12 mm. Among these is the ultra-slim Smartphone with QWERTY keyboard, the i320, which operates on Windows Mobile 5. The company’s newest slim 3G slim phones ­ Z510 and Z540 are developed to give users features such as broadband-like download capabilities, Bluetooth wireless technology, mega-pixel cameras and camcorders.

Like with Samsung, design is very much the watchword for Motorola who will launch some of the most stunning looking mobile products.

Featuring what Motorola calls understated elegance, the PEBL U6 has an oval form and dual-hinge mechanism to open and close the device with what Motorola calls one swift, delicate move. The design is complemented by capabilities such as video capture and playback; Bluetooth; Internet access; VGA digital camera; email; screensavers and MP3 ring tones.

A newer player, but equally significant is the Windows Mobile 5.0-based i-mate JAMin.  The device boasts a minimalist streamline design with non slip black casing for extra grip and enhanced keypad design for complete one-handed navigation. It comes with a built in MP3 Player, Voice Recorder and Speakerphone as well as anti-virus software, and a global warranty.

The device offers quad-band GSM connectivity along with GPRS, EDGE, Bluetooth and WiFi 802.11 b/g capability. It has a 64k LCD screen and a full range of applications including Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile & ClearVue PDF viewer. It also has a 2.0 mega-pixel built in camera that has a macro mode enabling close-up shots of smaller objects. 



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