Handspring and Cingular add GPRS to Treo

The GPRS software upgrade provides Cingular customers easy access to their corporate or Internet email inbox as well as the ability to seamlessly move between voice and data applications, withouthaving to disconnect from the network.

Cingular will sell GPRS-enabled Treo 270 communicators through the company’s various sales channels in all Cingular 1900 MHz GSM coverage areas as a voice enabled PDA option for Cingular’s Wireless Internet Express service, which gives individual customers access to POP3 email via My Wireless Window, as well as its XpressMail Network Edition service for corporate customers.

“Cingular is rolling out GSM and GPRS services nationwide in order to give our customers the ability to use the most advanced wireless devices and to access high-speed data applications,” said Mike Dobbs, vice president of product development for Cingular Wireless. “The availability of Handspring’s GPRS upgrade on Cingular’s 1900 MHz packet data networks will allow Treo users in these markets to enjoy the full functionality of their communicators.”

Handspring’s GPRS software upgrade is unique in the mobile phone market as it enables customers to easily upgrade Treo 180 and 270 communicators and improve performance with a simple download from the Internet. The software enhances email and Web applications with faster, more persistent connections to high-speed data networks as well as an easy installation and wireless data set-up process. It also includes improvements to the phone and text messaging applications. Current Treo 180, 180g and 270 owners can download this software at no additional cost.via the web at http://www.handspring.com/ or http://www.cingular.com/. Cingular Customers in 1900 MHz coverage areas can also purchase new GPRS-enabled Treo communicators directly from Handspring by visiting http://www.handspring.com/

“The GPRS upgrade gives Treo users a richer overall communications experience by making set-up and the management of voice and data applications more seamless. Specifically, applications like corporate and Internet email and web browsing are greatly enhanced by this software upgrade,” said Joe Sipher, vice president of worldwide marketing for Handspring. “Software integration is what sets Handspring apart from the competition and we encourage our customers to take advantage of these improvements.”

With the upgrade, Treo automatically becomes configured for data access – there is no need for manual configurations or an Internet Service Provider (ISP). In the text messaging application, Web pages can be launched, phone numbers dialed, and emails addressed by simply tapping the corresponding information (URL, phone number or email address) that arrives in a text message. There is also a new “mute” button as well as helpful keyboard hints built into the phone application.

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