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A new world of wireless.

As wireless and Internet technologies converge in Latin America, Palm envisions consumers managing the Internet in the same personalized, intuitive manner they've come to know through the Palm experience. Palm today provides mobile wireless access on CDPD, TDMA, COMA and GSM networks in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and other countries in the region, adapting to networks and overall local telephony infrastructures and responding to the needs of a growing number of users.

According to IDC, there are 5 million wireless Internet subscribers worldwide. In just three years, that number is expected to reach 330 million, accounting for 55% of all Internet users. The implications of the shift under way from wireline to wireless access are far-reaching. Today, Palm is focusing on developing the mobile information management solutions that enterprises need to take their business into this new era of communications.

Palm recognizes the necessity to rethink fundamental assumptions regarding the kind of information required for the mobile workforce and the users' preferences in terms of accessing and working with information.

Today there are a number of ways to provide wireless capabilities to Palm handheld computer users. Snap-on and plug-in wireless modems are available from third parties. Two-piece solutions give handheld users wireless access, and the Palm Mobile Internet Kit software, for example, enables users to connect their Palm handhold computers to the Internet by connecting a cable from their Palm to a cell phone.

Wireless Palm OS and web clipping applications currently run over leading circuit-switched and packet-switched networks in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Developers don't have to concern themselves with the idiosyncrasies of these networks; Palm makes them transparent by supporting multiple networks.

By offering an open, flexible architecture and working with a broad range of partners, Palm enables the implementation of solutions suitable for practically any mobile computing environment (WANs, LANs, different geographies and different form factors). One can deploy wireless applications in multiple ways that suit a variety of mobile worker needs and create endless new wireless business opportunities.

"Palm will play an important role in transforming the Internet into a useful, secure and mobile medium for e-mail and messaging, news and information, transactions, education and entertainment, as well as developing a new generation of mobile, location-specific applications and services," says Do Vries.

What it comes down to is that computing will become even more pervasive and even less reliant on hardwired monitors and keyboards, thanks to Bluetooth interfaces that allow computers to drive printers without wires and turn digital phones into walkie-talkies when they come into range of each other. In consumer applications, Bluetooth-enabled Palm handheld computers will be able to upload music or even videos and display them quickly.

Palm became Bluetooth-enabled this March, with the launch of the m500 and m505 handheld computers. And there are more possibilities, as well, says De Vries. "When a user with a Bluetooth-enabled Palm goes into an office building lobby, he can upload the day's agenda and data that he has to review. By the time the user gets up to the office, the Palm has a fresh 'to do' list, important matters to consider in meetings, even personal information, waiting for him. The improvements in efficiency are very large."

Bluetooth-enabled handhold computers are intrinsically mobile and gain in utility from their relationship with workstations and personal computers. Once all Palm devices are Bluetooth-enabled, they will be freed of the time required to connect cables, to connect modems and the enhanced Bluetooth transfer rates. They will be able to transfer web data with higher speeds and even function as larger-scale data backup or data download terminals with the aid of memory devices.
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Latin Trade
Date:Sep 1, 2001
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