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Siemens readies digital TV, VoIP Wi-Fi handsets

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Siemens may have yet to decide whether it intends to flog off its mobile phone division, but while it ponders such a course, its handset business has to continue touting new product. To that end, the company today revealed a trio of handsets it will show off at CeBIT next month.

The line-up includes a rugged unit for active-lifestyle folks, a Wi-Fi VoIP handset and a concept device geared more for mobile media than telephony.

Siemens' DVB-H concept phone

As its name suggests, the 'DVB-H Concept' (above) can pick up digital TV signals beamed across 3G networks. DVB-H is a version of the existing DVB-T terrestrial digital TV standard but modified to suit mobile, battery-powered terminals. Rather than broadcasting continuously, DVB-H broadcasts in bursts, allowing the receiver to power-down whenever possible, boosting battery life.

DVB-H trials are underway in the UK, US, Germany and Finland, with a view to rolling out services sometime next year. Nokia is working on a DVB-H handset with a view to a 2006 debut, and presumably that's the kind of timeframe Siemens has in mind.

Its concept model features a VGA screen and stereo speakers, plus support for all the interactivity features you get with regular digital TV.

CeBIT will also play host to Siemens' Gigaset S35 WLAN (below, right), a handset pitched as a Wi-Fi based alternative to today's DECT cordless phones and other companies' attempts to supersede DECT with Bluetooth. The can at least be taken out of the home or office and connect to Internet telephony services through public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Finally, the M75 (below, left), decked out in a "military green" colour scheme, will clearly appeal to the paintballing set with its "splash water, shock and dust resistant" casing. No, we're not sure why anyone who wants to get "active in a demanding outdoor environment" will want to pause while hanging off a sheer rock face and take a call or download a ringtone or two, but there you go. ®

Siemens' M75 and Gigaset S35

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