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Palm, Sprint dash for CDMA mobile Net access

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US cellphone company Sprint PCS yesterday chose the Palm OS as its mobile Internet platform of choice for next-generation CDMA networks.

It's a marriage made in heaven. Sprint has a high-speed digital network, and it wants to encourage subscribers to sign up for mobile Internet access. Palm has a portable Net access tool, but it needs wireless infrastructure to realise its full potential.

Essentially, Sprint will market and sell PalmOS-based kit to customers keen to access the Net on the move. Initially, Sprint will sell a connectivity kit to allow a Palm PDA to be hooked up to a Sprint PCS-compatible cellphone, but the company intends to follow this up later in the year with a full PalmOS-based cellphone - perhaps Samsung's upcoming CDMA smartphone, due by the end of Q2 - and a CDMA modem for PDAs.

And once Palm begins to offer more PDAs with built-in cellular access, you can expect those to be offered too.

For its part, Palm will provide a Sprint PCS Wireless Web-branded version of its MyPalm portal, which will be offered to Sprint's customers as part of the package.

A separate, corporate-oriented Sprint PCS Wireless Web for Business service will target big business keen to provide email access, sales tool apps and corporate directories to their workers out in the field.

According to the Palm, CDMA "will ensure the fast, secure transfer of data and provide a richer wireless Internet browsing experience than currently available". In other words, it'll mean an end to all that Web clipping stuff.

Availability for the service is set for "early 2001". ®

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