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Cell/WiFI combo devices on the horizon

I’m glad to see that the cell providers and handset/PDA companies are finally starting to ‘get it’. Some heartening news this week that brings me to this conclusion. eWeek has a story about the cell providers testing IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) in their phones in addition or in replacement to their current UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) protocols currently in use. The big difference here is that IMS supports SIP, while UMA does not. Apparently Cingular in trials with a Fortune 500 company, testing a device that uses GSM outside the company’s offices, and uses WiFi to connect to the company’s VoIP PBX in-house.

I also read about RIM’s upcoming Blackberry 7270 in Keith Shaw’s column this week (at the bottom of the page). I’m not sure what rock I’ve been living under since it’s unveiling at VoiceCon 2005, but the advent of a WiFi only BlackBerry has to mean a GSM/GPRS/WiFi combo device can’t be far behind.

I’ve been looking into either a BlackBerry 7290 and a Treo 650 to replace my PDA and cell. I’ve been wondering if I really want to go this route – especially with the reports of Cingular being totally clueless with mobile data, this news makes me thing it’s not quite time to pull the trigger. I can see the Blackberry 7270 being a nice gateway to get me started with mobile data, switching to a cell/WiFi combo once the cell carriers stop thinking that unlimited wireless at 75-135 Kbps should cost twice as much as unlimited DSL/Cable at 768 kbps to 1.5 Mbps.

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