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GPRS Memory Stick Coming Within A Year

Infineon is showing off the GSM/GPRS Data Module, a wireless networking Memory Stick at the Wireless Japan 2002 conference. Unfortunately, details are very sketchy. According to ASCII24 (in Japanese), this GSM/GPRS module will be available outside of Japan within the next year. It is only for wireless networking so it doesn't make the Clié into a smartphone. Pricing is unknown at this time.

The GPRS Memory Stick has a slot to plug in a SIM card. This allows people to easily use a single wireless account with several different devices.

GPRS is the updated version of GSM and will allow data transfers at up to 114 Kbps, though real-world speeds will be lower. While GSM/GPRS is the dominant standard in most of the world, CDMA is what rules the roost in the U.S.

When it is released, this will be the first "all in one" wireless solution for Sony's high-end handhelds. Sony has offered the MYLO service with a wireless modem sled for the S300 and S360 for over a year but has never introduced a version for any of its high-end models.

Thanks to Mark for the tip. -Ed

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German Sim Card

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2002 10:52:49 AM #
Why does Infineon use German SIM Cards when they introduce something like that in Japan???
Quite confusing, isn't it????
RE: German Sim Card
Token User @ 7/19/2002 10:57:00 AM #
German SIM Card? Are you referring to the fact that this device uses a SIM at all ... or that the SIM crd is manufactured in Germany? You probably already know this, but GSM uses SIM cards to store the specifics of the GSM connection, as well as local address books, etc. This means that I could pull the SIM card from my Sony-Ericson T68 (hmm, does that use a Swedish or Japanese SIM card :) ) provisioned in the US by Cingular, and put it this device - and use the same cellular account as my phone. Not particularly convenient swapping SIMs between devices though.

Still, thumbs up to Infineon for a cool idea.

Token.

(BTW - yeah, I know get a Bluetooth card and use GPRS that way ... this was just a hypothetical example).

RE: German Sim Card
Palm_Otaku @ 7/19/2002 3:11:49 PM #
The SIM card has the D2 logo (a German telecom provider)

Of course that's not too surprising as Infineon is a branch-off from Siemens and is headquartered in Munich ;-)

RE: German Sim Card
Token User @ 7/19/2002 3:36:12 PM #
Ahhhh. Hadn't picked up on the carrier logo. One of my phones (both on Cingular) has a logo, the other is "blank".

My bad ...

Cool, but

iain.collins @ 7/19/2002 10:49:05 AM #
This is cool, but am left thinking, that it makes more sense for most people to just have a Bluetooth Memory Stick (which is smaller and will still be cheaper as it is less expensive to produce) and use it to connect to a GPRS phone like a T39m or a T68i.

That way:

- It's cheaper.
- You only need one sim.
- You won't train your PDA battery life as quickly.
- The Bluetooth adapater is both lighter and smaller (e.g. sticks out much less) than this will.

So all in all nice idea (and I might even get one at some point, just because it's cool), but I'd rather they just made sure we all had enough Bluetooth Memory Sticks (they are *really* difficult to get hold of right now).

Additionaly, if you get a Bluetooth Memory Stick you'll be 'future proofed' against new wireless protocols like Edge and 3G because as long as your phone supports them you wont need to buy a new version of this gadget every time it comes out, your old Bluetooth stick will continue to talk Bluetooth to any new phone you get.

RE: Cool, but
iain.collins @ 7/19/2002 10:57:13 AM #
So all in all nice idea (and I might even get one at some point, just because it's cool), but I'd rather they just made sure we all had enough Bluetooth Memory Sticks (they are *really* difficult to get hold of right now).

Ooops, some parts of that comment don't make sence as this devices is being made by Infineon not Sony so it's not like Infineon can encourage Sony to make more BlueTooth sticks, again oops! :)

RE: Cool, but
mtg101 @ 7/19/2002 11:28:41 AM #
For me it makes more sense for a PDA to have BT built-in - this way you don't waste an expansion slot on getting network connectivity.

---
russ@russb.fsnet.co.uk
RE: Cool, but
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2002 11:31:30 AM #
I'm with you ian
RE: Cool, but
c_blue @ 7/19/2002 11:41:23 AM #
I see a rental service here. Instead of offering my customers a cell phone and a BT card for their PDA I could give them this while they are in the country.

C_Blue

RE: Bluetooth MS too expensive...
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2002 8:10:17 AM #
It cost almost half the price of the unit to get one....unless it goes down to maybe 100USD or less I won't consider BT MS. If this is cheaper I will take this instead.

RE: Cool, but
useybird @ 7/21/2002 4:08:46 PM #
BT MS, who cares I have a palm m130 and the SD BT Isn't even sold in the US! (Only online) Is it illegal to have Bluetooth in US? And another why are they so much money? I know some people are rich but the majority of pda owners aren't

--()-- Support the USA in the war against terrorism.
RE: Cool, but
iain.collins @ 7/21/2002 6:30:02 PM #
As had been said before the US mobile market is much weaker than the rest of the world, and as a result you don't see as much demand for BT products in the US.

In Europe and Japan you can get BlueTooth SD cards without any problems, in the UK in every town with a Dixons you can find one (and Dixons eletronics stores are in almost all towns in the country and certainly in every city).

If you can't afford it, don't buy it. I'd guess anyone with a BlueTooth phone does have some spare cash floating around and 100 USD isn't going to cause many problems (that's the cost of a night out drinking, actually I spent more than that *last night* on drink alone). If you actually expect to use the BlueTooth card, you'll need a GRPS account (with it's 'always on' and high speed functionality) to get any sort of reasonable use out it, and that will set you back a couple of hundred USD a year even if you don't use it that much. I regularly had GPRS bills of 50 USD a month from my m500 (I know use an NR70 and am awaiting my BT MS card).

This is cutting edge technology and not yet affordable every one. I don't see why you should get something for nothing. It will be much much cheaper in time (over the next couple of years) but it's not as if there is a sinister kabal.

PS: Re your "join the war against terrorism" sig, I suggest you keep your political comments out of this forum, or I could mention the sponsoring of IRA terrorism by US citizens over the last 25 years (money which has sponsored the killing of men, women, children, policemen in Engliand and Scotland) and was publicaly supported in Irish bars all over New York! Unpleasent irony indeed.


RE: Cool, but
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2002 2:55:09 PM #
I like Iain's idea, I actually bought the BT card and have a m515, a T39m, a GPRS provider, but haven't been able to make a valid GPRS connection yet from my Palm though my phone. It works fine from my laptop but I can't figure out the right settings and GPRS provider can't help because they don't support Palm (Proximus in Belgium). If anyone knows a good place to find some help on this, greatly appreciated

Multiple SIM Cards

costein @ 7/19/2002 11:47:53 AM #
Here in Switzerland "Sunrise" (GSM provider) has gone forward to leaving the option of being able to get 5 duplicates of your main GSM SIM and then have them plugged into various devices on a permanent basis. That way, whichever device you need there would be a SIM in it already.

Of course you can't use 2 data device types at the same time (although possible would be; with your cell phone making a call and with your Palm checking your email - simaltaniously, but not two of the same types). Hope that made sense...
Anyway you could put your gadgets to use that way. But I agree that I'd rather have my cellphone and a Palm/Sony since my cell phone does a bit more than just send/receive data. In addition to that, most people who are on the GSM/GPRS networks will most likely already have a phone with infrared and GPRS capabilities, that would seem to suit most people fine - so why buy this module?

costein

Battery life???

mikemusick @ 7/19/2002 2:02:14 PM #
This will be a serious issue. When it comes to transmit power, GPRS is to Wi-Fi as Wi-Fi is to Bluetooth... and we're already thrashing about with concerns about battery life under Wi-Fi.

Bottom line - considering the issues we already have with battery life in Sony PDA's, I see this one as a non-starter.

GSM/GPRS and other gobbledygook

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2002 4:48:58 PM #
Might it make sense to mention what these abbreviations (GSM/GPRS) stand for?

RE: GSM/GPRS and other gobbledygook
ardee @ 7/19/2002 4:55:36 PM #
Found this one the 'net:

GPRS

General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) is a packet-based wireless communication service that promises data rates from 56 up to 114 Kbps and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users. The higher data rates will allow users to take part in video conferences and interact with multimedia Web sites and similar applications using mobile handheld devices as well as notebook computers. GPRS is based on Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication and will complement existing services such circuit-switched cellular phone connections and the Short Message Service (SMS).

Any GPRS attachment for Palm m500 series?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2002 6:07:19 AM #
Are there any such attachments that is placed with the Palm resting on it?
Using the GPRS Memory Stick may drain the battery life flat from the Clie.


RE: Any GPRS attachment for Palm m500 series?
Token User @ 7/20/2002 11:56:16 AM #
If you have a Bluetooth enabled device (or a Palm with an elusive Bluetooth SD card), this might be an option ... http://www.infosync.no/news/2002/n/2085.html

GPS
Palm_Otaku @ 7/20/2002 4:28:31 PM #
The Emtac is actually a GPS (Global Positioning System) not GPRS (wireless data). Pretty cool looking device none-the-less :)

RE: Any GPRS attachment for Palm m500 series?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/21/2002 7:54:34 PM #
Hmm, something Australia is doing better than the US.

The store I work in has 5 in stock, and we sell them out and get new ones all the time.

RE: Any GPRS attachment for Palm m500 series?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 2:46:27 AM #
How about this www.ohfish.com with its M3 GPRS attachments for Palm?

bluetooth

PIC mobile user @ 7/24/2002 2:53:33 AM #
is there any intention to release a bluetooth memory stick.
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