Always On Wireless Modem for V Series Debuts (Updated)

Motient Corporation, the owner of the country's largest two-way wireless data network, today unveiled the MobileModem, which gives Palm V series handhelds always-on wireless email access. It is scheduled to be available later this Fall. Motient now says this modem will cost $180 after a rebate, which is less than half its previously reported cost.

Update: According to a company spokesperson, the service will be available near the end of November for $50 a month. In addition to email, it will also allow access to the Web.

A spokesperson for the company said:

    While we certainly do plan to offer wireless modems in the future for other handhelds, including Handspring's line and the newer Palms, I can't say exactly when. We are currently conducting research and considering the possibilities. With over 5 million of the Palm V series sold in the US, we felt that market was the most suitable to target as we enter into the Palm community.
The modem is a clip-on sled that is 5.0" (6.4 with antenna) by 3.1 by 0.47 and weighs 4.8 ounces. It has its own built-in battery. A single cable allows HotSyncing and charging both Palm and the modem.

The MobileModem can wake-up the handheld when a new message arrives. It has built-in vibrating alerts with multiple notification options.

The Motient Modem operates on 800 MHz DataTAC, RD/LAP 19.2 kbps, and MDC 4.8 kbps networks. Motient claims to have the most complete wireless network coverage in the United States, including the 500 largest cities and all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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what's the monthly fee?

palmcoder @ 10/17/2001 11:49:09 AM #

anyone know?

RE: what's the monthly fee?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/17/2001 12:19:42 PM #
according to palmstation, the modem that clips to the back of the V will be $259, or $179 with a service contract for a year. The MONTHLY COST will be $49.99 for nationwide paging.

RE: what's the monthly fee?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/17/2001 12:21:17 PM #
also from pic:

I was at the New England Palm Users Group meeting mentioned in the article. Just to clarify a few things Renee said, the monthly service charge of $49.95 is for email services only without attachments. You can use services to process attachments for an additional fee. Wireless applications must be specifically designed for the service (TCP/IP and PQAs will not work). There will be other applications developed for the service but they will come with an additional per KB charge.

RE: what's the monthly fee?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/17/2001 12:21:46 PM #
oops, not PIC, palmstation.

Modem for other Palms???

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/17/2001 12:20:27 PM #
Does anyone know about their plans for wireless modems for Palm IIIxe and Palm III series?

RE: Modem for other Palms???
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 8:11:34 PM #
Why? You can't even buy those anymore.

I got an email from UniMount trying to flog their old III-series car mounts etc... they have a great solution, but don't even support the V yet!

Wireless web or just e-mail?

covingto @ 10/17/2001 12:19:35 PM #
In the original post about this product, it was mentioned that it would offer wireless Web
browsing in addition to always-on e-mail services. Unfortunately, the Motient webpage only
mentions their eLink service for e-mail. Do we have any additional information on what additional
capabilities this device will support?


RE: Wireless web or just e-mail?
Ed @ 10/18/2001 9:17:14 AM #
I've updated thr article with new information I got from Motient. It will allow users to access the Web.

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News Editor

Motient does not have the best coverage...

quake97 @ 10/17/2001 12:23:02 PM #
I used to have a Blackberry RIM device. I started out with the 850 from Motient and the coverage in the Philadelphia area was horrible. I sent it back and got my money back and went to a RIM 950 from Earthlink. The coverage was awesome! I got coverage in area my cell phone wouldn't work, I found that quite nice. Good for Motient for getting the Blackberry service on Palms, but wait for the Cingluar network version from Earthlink or whoever.

Joe

RE: Motient does not have the best coverage...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/17/2001 4:03:35 PM #

Wow, just $50 a month or ($600 a year) for wireless email.

Sonna run out and get one today.

NOT!

RE: Motient does not have the best coverage...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/17/2001 10:52:13 PM #
I have a similar experience. Absolutely no cell phone coverage at my home (near Rose Bowl area of Pasadena), but 100% signal strength on my Palm VIIx. After looking at all the mobile web alternatives, my feeling is that a Palm VII with DPWeb is hard to beat. All in one package (no clip ons) and you can't beat the price. If you take advantage of Palm's offer to replace your old broken PDA, you can get a new VII for $50 after rebate. A no brainer.

Other Palm Devices

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/17/2001 4:22:19 PM #
This is great development. Will additional modems be released for 505, Handspring and Clie

RE: Other Palm Devices
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/17/2001 7:35:32 PM #
Yes. The Australian company (Wavenet - www.wavenet.com.au) who actually produce the modem will have 50x/125 compatible modems soon. I actually met with them recently and was *very* impressed by their operation and the modems.

RE: Other Palm Devices
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 2:48:53 AM #
Of course there are modem for the M500s as well as the m125. Please check out www.ohfish.com It runs on a tri-GPRS system thus the coverage area extends globally.

RE: Other Palm Devices
Ed @ 10/18/2001 9:18:34 AM #
Here's a quote from a Motient spokesperson:

    While we certainly do plan to offer wireless modems in the future for other handhelds, including Handspring's line and the newer Palms, I can't say exactly when. We are currently conducting research and considering the possibilities.


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News Editor
RE: OhFish
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 8:07:37 PM #
The OhFish looks nice - but I can't buy it here in Australia...!

Anyone used the GPRS version?? That's what I want!

Motient versus Omnisky

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/17/2001 10:33:21 PM #
What are the advantages or disadvantages of Motient modem compared to Omnisky modem?

RE: Motient versus Omnisky
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 8:53:14 AM #
one thing based on the above saying no tcp/ip or PQA apps would be that all of the realy great apps developed for omnisky and the palm.net wouldn't work w/ the above...you get whatever they give you but that's it....one thing I really like about omnisky is there are a *ton* of apps/pqa's out there....on the other side of the coin omnisky never seemed to be able to get the message waiting light to work in their network (I think) so the benefit of the rim device would be that it will tell you when you have an email. When I need to know w/ omnisky, all I do is log on and check, and I rely on my cellphone w/ built in pager for people who need me right away. Omnisky is cheaper. One thing which would be very important to you is coverage and I would suggest checking coverage maps and asking around for people who have the devices where you will spend your time (for me in Metro NY, the coverage is very good all around w/ omnisky). Without signal, none of the above will matter. However, if you have signal w/ both, then you have some options.

What happen to DPWeb ???

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 10:34:01 AM #
Please read the following...

POSTED: 12/20/2001 at 18:24:09
Does anyone know if DPWeb is out of business?
Their service has been down for about a month now.

POSTED: 12/21/2001 at 16:07:43
I called Palm support about the fact that DPWeb no longer worked and they said that DBWeb is gone. There's no response at the old Digital Paths Web site, either.
Does anyone know of an alternative to DPWeb for the Palm VIIx? I have found that being able to browse (not clip) the web in real time (not downloading pages during synchs) to be the Palm's most useful wireless feature. Without it, it's hard to justify the monthly wireless service charge.
Please help! Is there some program that does the same thing or almost the same things as DPWeb did?

POSTED: 12/21/2001 at 20:19:15
There is a browser in the My Palm web clipping application. It is as good as DPWeb, except it does not have bookmarks and it does not have a refresh command, both of which I find essential if you are going to use this tool. Bottom line for me is that if My Palm does not add bookmarking and refresh to their web clipping application, I'm giving up on the Palm VII and their $45 per month charge and moving to the new Treo.

POSTED: 12/21/2001 at 22:15:17
Thanks for this info. Can you tell me where to find the My Palm web clipping application with browser? I've been hunting all over the place with no luck yet. I must be missing something somewhere.
I did find something called Mobile Web, which I was able to download via the wireless connection from the Downloads page of the Palm,Inc application on the Palm itself. This does have browsing capabilities but the display of pages is relatively poor, and it doesn't have bookmarks or refresh either.

POSTED: 01/01/2002 at 11:15:26
Well nice I paid for the dpweb service on 11/30/2001 and got a couple of weeks' use for my $25. I hate my palm VIIx. I bought it thinking I'd be able to use AIM, eudora, avantgo, yahoo messaging, and avantgo only to discover this incredibly poorly thought out palm.net service which leaves you held hostage by various poorly written or supported proxies. What were they thinking? What was I thinking when I assumed without verifying that palm would use their own TCP/IP stack?

POSTED: 01/15/2002 at 16:49:54
Alas, Browser 1.0 is nowhere near as good as DPWeb. It doesn't support user-id/password login, SSL, or framed sites. It almost always hoses up links and buttons so that a page cannot be navigated. It also downloads large graphics spuriously, resulting in very slow performance. It's virtually worthless compared to DBWeb. Without DPWeb, the Palm VII is a much less useful device. I used mine for remote system administration, as I could securely log into administrative web pages, such as the APC MasterSwitch remote control power switch.


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