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Ericsson demos first Bluetooth phone

Delayed wireless technology finally emerging

Mobile phone vendor Ericsson has demonstrated its Bluetooth mobile phone - the tri-band and WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) ready T36.

The T36 is the first mobile phone to have built-in Bluetooth wireless technology, according to Ericsson. The T36 is also the company's first tri-band GSM (global system for mobile communications) phone, meaning the phone can be used over GSM frequency networks in Europe, the Asia/Pacific region and in the Americas, Ericsson said in a statement.

The idea of Bluetooth is to forgo the inconvenience of cables by connecting devices such as mobile phones, PCs, printers and handheld computers to each other without wires.

The emerging specification, using low-frequency radio waves, promises to connect up to eight devices within a range of roughly ten metres.

Ericsson has also demonstrated its Bluetooth PC Card. The Bluetooth PC Card allows a user to connect a laptop with a mobile phone using the Bluetooth wireless connection, Ericsson said. The product is classified as a Type II PCMCIA Card.

The T36 mobile phone comes loaded with a WAP 1.2.1 browser and supports HSCSD (High Speed Data) making the mobile phone faster than a standard GSM connection, Ericsson said.

The T36 should be delivered to the mass market by the end of the year with two versions to be made available: the T36m, and the T36mc.

The Bluetooth PC Card will be made available in December of this year, Ericsson said.

Ericsson did not disclose its retail pricing guidelines for its Bluetooth mobile phones or PC Cards.

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