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Colubris's Vertical Takeoff

Colubris Networks Inc. looks for more enterprise action, the BlackBerry Pearl gets pushy, and one-touch assistance comes to phones in this week's tech-roundup.

Colubris's niche itch: Colubris Networks Inc. has unveiled a bundle of new products that it says will help it break further into niche enterprise markets such as healthcare.

Designed for small to medium-sized enterprises, the MSC-5100 MultiService Controller incorporates automated discovery and configuration of wireless access points and a new version of the Colubris operating system, which further automates access-point configuration.

Colubris is also betting that improved guest access capabilities will remain a draw for enterprise users. The firm has introduced the Colubris Visitor Management Tool (VMT), a software application that works in conjunction with its guest Internet access system to make it easy for non-IT personnel to manage guest access to wireless networks. For example, the firm says, using the Colubris VMT, an authorized receptionist could easily grant visitors access to the company's WLAN, from the front desk.

Cingular's new jewel? Cingular Wireless has become the latest U.S. carrier to launch BlackBerry 's popular consumer take on its BlackBerry phone -- the Pearl.

One of the main differences between T-Mobile US Inc. 's Pearl and the new Cingular version is the addition of PTT-like walkie-talkie functionality. Cingular has the $200 device in stores today.

Operators are standing by: You've heard of a hotspot, now how about a hot button?

That's what the Noel Group is hoping to sell users through a collaboration with Handmark Software. MobileCierge is a 24-hour assistance service available for Handmark's Pocket Express system that users can click on to access emergency, medical, and travel assistance without having to have all the relevant numbers in their phone.

Similar to an OnStar-like service on the phone, the firms claim that MobileCierge "fills the gap between 411 information and 911 emergency services."

The service costs $6 a month.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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