Nokia Launches Cross-Network Phone

Nokia will sell the first mobile phone to work on both TDMA and GSM networks.
Mobile phone maker Nokia Corp. unveiled a new handset Monday that it says is the first to allow users to roam between the varying network standards of the United States and Europe. The new Nokia 6340 works on analog and digital networks, including the Time Division Multiple Access networks common in the United States as well as the Global System for Mobile Communications networks widely used in Europe and abroad.

Farpoint Group analyst Craig Mathias says that as cellular carriers in the United States phase out their TDMA networks and expand the use of GSM, these sorts of multimode phones will be necessary to keep users connected. But Mathias doesn't expect the feature to be a selling point. "When I turn on my phone I don't say, 'Wow, this is TDMA!'" he says. "I bought it because it's very small, and it has excellent battery life. I think most people buy cell phones the same way."

The 6340 also features a "mobile wallet," which stores credit and debit card information in an encrypted memory bank and allows for secure transfer to mobile commerce sites. The new phone will be available in the first half of the year, but no price has been divulged.

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