Motorola 2G/3G phone gets US approval

Motorola's A830 mobile phone, the first from the equipment maker to support both second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G)...

Motorola's A830 mobile phone, the first from the equipment maker to support both second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) wireless platforms, took another step closer to wide availability this week with approval from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Mass production of the phone began in late September. The device supports both Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA).

GSM is the predominant 2G cellular format and is in use in almost every nation in the world, with the exceptions of Japan and South Korea.

W-CDMA is a 3G format that has been selected by many carriers for new 3G services, including two in Japan. The phone will enable users to access 3G services where available and drop back to GSM networks in areas where there is no 3G coverage.

Approval by the FCC was a necessary step if Motorola wanted to sell the phone in the US market.

The phone will support W-CDMA and GSM at 800MHz, 1,800MHz and 1,900MHz. The former two bands are commonly used around the world while the latter band is used in North America. GSM support extends to General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) packet data transmission.

The phone supports Bluetooth, enabling it to link to other devices supporting the close-area networking standard, and also has an infrared port. There is an optional digital camera that clips onto the back of the phone and a slot for MultiMedia Card or Secure Digital cards which can be used to store pictures and video.

Software in the phone includes functions such as video, picture viewer and personal organiser. The phone also has a micro-browser to allow access to the mobile Internet and features support for Java.

The phone also includes an MP3 player and Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver.

Motorola is promising availability of the phone later this year. It is likely to be supplied to Hutchison 3G, which is to launch its 3G network in the UK in the coming months.

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