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Socket Announces Bluetooth Wireless Modem

Socket Communications today announced the first battery-powered cordless 56K modem for PDAs. The new device gives users mobility to access the Internet or email through a telephone from any Bluetooth enabled device that supports a Dial-Up Networking (DUN) profile, without being tethered to a cord.

The Cordless 56K Modem with Bluetooth Wireless Technology comes with a rechargeable, removable Lithium-ion battery that supplies a minimum of three hours of use. It uses an internal antenna and is a class 1, Bluetooth 1.1-compliant device providing 330 feet of wireless freedom. It is also V.92 hardware ready, giving users the option to add call waiting, get online quicker and download files faster. The modem is certified to work in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

“Our growing family of cordless products enables mobile professionals to communicate with handheld devices without cords, wires or cables,” said Vanessa Lindsay, Socket product marketing manager. “The new cordless modem offers hassle-free access from a Palm, Pocket PC, or Windows Notebook from anywhere within 330 feet of an analog telephone line.”

The new modem supports the Bluetooth General Access Protocol, Service Discovery Protocol, Dial-up Networking Gateway and FAX Gateway, and features LEDs that provide instant information on Bluetooth link status, data activity and charging status. It supportany Bluetooth enabled device that supports a DUN Client profile including Palm, Pocket PC, and Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP. It will cost $129 USD, with volume shipping is expected to begin by the end of Q1, 2004.

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BT Modem for $129?

Vidge @ 1/7/2004 7:42:34 PM #
That costs more than a BT phone! Please explain why someone would buy it.

Moderator, Daily Gadget
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RE: BT Modem for $129?
spaskey @ 1/7/2004 8:16:14 PM #
It's not such a dumb idea. There are millions of us out here who have a contract with a wireless provider that DOESN'T offer bluetooth. Even with the switch to number portability, I'm not going to pay a $175 termination fee, buy a new phone, and sign up with a company that provides inferior service and coverage (i.e. ATT or T-mobile) just so I can use my phone as a wireless bluetooth modem.

RE: BT Modem for $129?
IndyDave @ 1/7/2004 8:26:47 PM #
I don't know where you can buy a bluetooth enabled phone for 130 bucks without a service contract (probably 2 yr mininum). And how many cellular carriers offer bluetooth? The two mentioned with crappy coverage? Not in any rush to buy, but for those with a need this in my opinion is more cost effective than cellular bluetooth phone and data plans.

RE: BT Modem for $129?
skennedy1217 @ 1/7/2004 8:48:06 PM #
And the Universal Connecter becomes less and less relevant as BT and USB become the truly universal connectivity standards among PDA's (and surely these too will be replaced someday by something faster and more efficient).

RE: BT Modem for $129?
He||Raiser @ 1/7/2004 11:33:14 PM #
Hey, remember that most providers charge you an arm and a leg for data access, which usually is slower than 56k at that. My provider, Cingular, charges $80 per month for unlimited data. IIRC, I think the cheapest I've heard is $40 per month for unlimited access from Sprint. Considering I have free dial-up with my DSL provider, I'd love to get this modem and use it in any place I can.

RE: BT Modem for $129?
lak @ 1/7/2004 11:34:35 PM #
Vidge, you missed the point.
There is NO airtime or data charges with Wireless Modem! Unless you have unlimited GPRS option, surfing via BT phone can get expensive - I usually need to turn off the graphics. There is no such concern about data volume download with the wireless modem.

Obviously, this is for indoors use and you can use it in your basement or any places where cellular signals may be less than ideal for GPRS.



RE: BT Modem for $129?
Vidge @ 1/8/2004 12:40:24 AM #
>Vidge, you missed the point.
>There is NO airtime or data charges with Wireless Modem!

Ah - I knew there would be a reason. I was just trying to figure it out, with BT phones going for free and T-M charging $20/mo for unlimited (some people are getting unlimited for the $2.99 T-Zones).

And for those of you stuck in the contract, let me give you a little tip I found to vaoid paying the early termination fee: vacation plan. Call your provider and tell them you want the vacation plan. Most have this for $5 or $10 a month, which is usually a heck of a lot cheaper than the termination fee. Instead of paying $200 for one of my carriers when I switched to T-M, I'm going to pay $40 - and that's over 4 months!

Moderator, Daily Gadget
http://www.dailygadget.com

RE: BT Modem for $129?
Midknyte @ 1/8/2004 4:09:23 AM #
I don't know where you can buy a bluetooth enabled phone for 130 bucks without a service contract...

ebay... I picked up an Ericsson T39 for $125. Bluetooth & GPRS. Granted it's a gently used chinese import, but it works!

TMobile unlimited internet $20/month. Heavy port limitations and [feels like] 36-42kbps. But again, it works and you can still find ways to do most everything but usenet.

Dunno if if you can avoid an initial contract by bringing your own phone. My contract period has passed so this at least allowed me to avoid an extension.

It can be done.



RE: VACATION PLAN
drillmaggot @ 1/8/2004 7:51:19 AM #
Too bad Sprint doesn't have a vacation plan.

-Drillmaggot

RE: BT Modem for $129?
Miss Clie @ 1/8/2004 8:39:04 AM #
Okay, at first I was thinking like Vidge. Then I 'got' it, and thought, "wow! free dialup internet!".

Now I'm thinking, "WTF? If I have an analog phone, then I'm 3 feet from my broadband connection. No dice".

How many applications can you actually find for this, since you can already be attached via bluetooth to your broadband PC for the (lower) price of a BT dongle? And don't tell me that you're all going to roam the streets in search of an analog phone to jack from, since most businesses and public areas aren't analog.

So now I'm back to "meh".

RE: BT Modem for $129?
mj6798 @ 1/8/2004 10:09:28 AM #
Now I'm thinking, "WTF? If I have an analog phone, then I'm 3 feet from my broadband connection. No dice".

Well, then the product isn't aimed at you. Other people either travel a lot (and roaming often doesn't work for data), or they don't have broadband at home.b

RE: BT Modem for $129?
Altema @ 1/8/2004 12:54:23 PM #
Not everyone wants to be tied to a desk. One of these will let you have wireless access pretty much anywhere in your house (depending on size, of course!).

Although it would be lame compared to a full desktop with broadband, it would be just about right for surfing or checking email from the comfort of your couch or bed... like when sitting through a boring movie that the spouse wants to watch. For those situations, 56k and HVGA work well enough.

RE: BT Modem for $129?
palmhiker @ 1/8/2004 1:05:18 PM #
I don't understand why Socket, or some other company hasn't come out with a Wi-Fi to Bluetooth version of something like this.

I can't believe the cost to produce that would be more than this device.

With Wi-Fi to Bluetooth, you could use your DSL at home and then use Wi-Fi wherever else you were. Screw the dial-up.

RE: BT Modem for $129?
rogerkang @ 1/8/2004 1:25:21 PM #
Yes, but this would be a great travel option for people that bring their Tungsten's, etc. overseas!

WiFi to BT
madmaxmedia @ 1/8/2004 1:41:51 PM #
WiFi to Bluetooth would actually be more pointless if you think about it.

Why buy a Wi-Fi to BT converter when you can just buy a WiFi card (when it is finally compatible), or buy that Enfora Wifi case thing? This is of course assuming you have BT on your PDA in the first place...

If you have a BT PDA and want to use your DSL connection at home, the best thing is to buy a Class 1 BT dongle (about $20 on EBay). It will give you excellent range (depending on the size of your house!) Maybe 50-100 ft. or so, depending on how many walls, etc.

This BT modem seems like a niche device, but will still be useful for some. If you don't have a DSL connection, it might be convenient at home since you don't have to log on through your desktop first to get a connection. Also, business users could conceivably use this for their notebook computers (if the phone cord bothers them that much!)

RE: BT Modem for $129?
madmaxmedia @ 1/8/2004 1:48:01 PM #
"Why buy a Wi-Fi to BT converter when you can just buy a WiFi card (when it is finally compatible), or buy that Enfora Wifi case thing? This is of course assuming you have BT on your PDA in the first place..."

Oops. Of course I meant the Wi-Fi to BT converter would only be useful if you have BT on your PDA in the first place.

RE: BT Modem for $129?
alanh @ 1/8/2004 2:33:02 PM #
WiFi to BT in a small package would be great for those of us who want to have something portable. I probably wouldn't use it at home with my WiFi network there as I already have other computers convenient (laptop, e.g.). However, if I could have something that I could throw into my pocket just in case I happened into a WiFi zone, that would be a heck of a lot more convenient than lugging around a laptop/etc.

The Enfora case is neat, but it's far bulkier than a regular palm case, and I have yet to find a device/plug that actually has a solid connection with a Palm Universal Connector. A WiFi/BT gateway the size of my EMTAC BT GPS would be about as big as I could handle....

I'd even prefer such a device over a WiFi SD card:

1. No dependence on the internal Palm battery.

2. Wouldn't need to plug/unplug my SD card to use it. (I'd be afraid a wifi/SD mem card would get damaged in stored connected my pocket)

3. Don't need a special case for the combination of the two units.

But, that said, I fully expect either my next palm (or maybe the one after that) to have both WiFi and Bluetooth integrated already. If Palm came out with an equivalent to the Sony UX-50, that would be what I'd really want....

-alan

RE: BT Modem for $129?
palmhiker @ 1/8/2004 4:14:13 PM #
"But, that said, I fully expect either my next palm (or maybe the one after that) to have both WiFi and Bluetooth integrated already. If Palm came out with an equivalent to the Sony UX-50, that would be what I'd really want...."

Amen to that. I am waiting for a T3 (i.e. no keyboard)with Wi-Fi built-in. I can take or leave Bluetooth as I do not have a use for it at this time.


RE: BT Modem for $129?
Bartman007 @ 1/12/2004 11:15:27 AM #
I too would love a T3 with WiFi, but only if they threw in a bigger battery like the one from the Treo600 or the T|C, not the miniscule 900mAh battery that is in there now...


Peace,
-Bartman007

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