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Nokia's new baby

6340 gives multiple network access in US and Asia

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia today launched its latest handset, the 6340, designed to enable people to use completely different US mobile phone systems.

The version of this story that went live yesterday gave the impression that the phone would also work in Europe — sadly this is not the case.

Sadly Nokia's less-than-perfect press system meant that the UK office didn't know what the phone looks like nor into which series of phones it fits. We're guessing that it's going to come out a bit like the 6310 (pictured).

Nor did Nokia's UK PR machine know that the phone would not, after all, be released in the UK. It seems the 6340 must not be a tri-band GSM phone (1700, 1800 and 1900 bands) after all. This is doubly sad, because a tri-band GSM phone that also uses TDMA services would be terrific. Nonetheless, on with the show:

"Since roaming is seamless and automatic, consumers will have the ability to use all of their digital services in both TDMA and GSM service areas without having to worry about what kind of technology is being used in a particular area," said Pekka Vartiainen, vice president for sales at Nokia.

Behind all this techno-tosh is the fact that this should mean people who use phones in the US are no longer confined to extremely limited US GSM service or widespread but crappy TDMA (time division multiple access, or time division multiplex to true geeks).

As well as the ability to transfer between networks Nokia has incorporated Wallet, a function that allows users to perform quick wireless transactions.

Other features include WAP (wireless application protocol), predictive text input, voice command features and an audio equaliser for clearer sound.

The phone is expected to go on sale in the spring. Unfortunately, not here.

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