Nokia claims first with 'walkie-talkie' GSM phone

Nokia has unveiled its first handset with a "walkie-talkie" or "push-to-talk" feature at its Mobility Conference in New York,...

Nokia has unveiled its first handset with a "walkie-talkie" or "push-to-talk" feature at its Mobility Conference in New York, claiming it was the first mobile phone manufacturer to offer such a phone based on GSM technology.

The push-to-talk feature allows users to connect quickly with another person or a group of people by pressing a side-mounted key and speaking into the phone.

The new 5140 phone will include a digital compass and integrated video graphics array camera.

In Asia and Europe, the 5140 will operate in the 900, 1800 and 1900 frequencies and support GSM, GPRS and Edge (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) network technologies.

In the Americas, the phone will operate in the 850, 1800 and 1900 frequencies and support the same Asian and European network technologies.

Both versions are expected to be available in the second half of 2004. The phone will cost between $150 and $200 in the US. Prices for Asia and Europe were not immediately available.

During 2004, Nokia will introduce a full range of push-to-talk GSM phones, including smart phones based on the Symbian operating system.

From 2005, Nokia intends to offer push-to-talk phones based on GPRS and the new third-generation Wideband Code Division Multiple Access technology.

John Blau writes for IDG News Service

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