Prepare for a Banner Year for Wireless
* Microsoft is expected to announce Monday at the 2002 Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association conference that it has tapped VoiceStream Wireless and Verizon Wireless to debut its Windows-powered Pocket PC devices in the United States.
* The AudioVox “Thera,” a Pocket PC 2002, Phone Edition/CDMA wireless device which will cost about $800, tops a list of new products and services that will debut this week. Verizon will introduce Thera in June, and sell it exclusively for a month. Then Sprint will begin selling it in July, according to a representative for Audiovox, which helped design and build Thera.
* Cingular Wireless is expected Monday to announce it’s expanding its high-speed wireless network to New York state and California by June.
* Verizon will announce it’s selling cell phones that can download games and other programs using Qualcomm’s new BREW software. BREW is software that Qualcomm developed and is the company’s answer to Java, which Nokia intends to put into 100 million cell phones next year.
* VoiceStream will also start selling and offering service to PocketPC devices, according to Microsoft.
These are all separate news items, but, taken collectively, show that, unlike last year, high-speed cellular networking and smart data devices, as well as the software they will run will actually be available. After a rather dismal 2001, many cellular service and equipment providers are pinning their hopes on this latest push. The best news for Pocket PC enthusiasts is the Pocket PC OS is right in the thick of it.