Bell Mobility launches 1X handheld device

Bell Mobility launched a new 1X handheld device on Thursday, as it looks to tap deeper into the mobile professionals market.

The 1X wireless network is Bell’s latest platform, providing transmission speeds of up to 86Kbps, continuous connectivity, improved colour and graphics, and streaming multimedia like audio and video.

For enterprises with a sales force that needs access to both their e-mail and cell phone, this new product will be useful, said Rebecca Mackinlay, Toronto-based associate director of wireless data business for Bell Mobility. The device will also appeal to the small and medium business market, as well as the high-end consumer, because of the voice, data and entertainment combination, she added.

The offering, called Thera, combines Microsoft Windows for Pocket PC 2002 with wireless data and voice features, including text messaging, Internet access, e-mail, a speaker phone, voice recorder and MP3 player, the company said.

“I think the completely integrated voice is going to be one of the most adopted features of it,” Mackinlay said. “The idea of not having to carry around multiple devices and have the ‘tool-belt look’ with a cell phone and a data device will be appealing.”

Another selling point will be the ability for customers to not only read their e-mail, but also open attachments and be able to change and manipulate them, she said.

The Thera, produced by Audiovox Communications Corp., is equipped with Bell Mobility’s Motivus Mobile Desktop Enterprise Edition, which allows the user to access Microsoft Outlook files, according to the company.

The device has a dualband design that provides access to both digital personal communications services (PCS) and 1X coverage areas.

The Thera is now available at outlets that sell Bell Mobility products for $1,249, Mackinlay said. Customers who sign a two-year contract will receive a $100 rebate, she added.

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