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Optical/IP

Nokia's Email Updates

As the mobile email battle gets more intense, Cingular has released a $200 "BlackJack" smartphone that could be a winner. Meanwhile, wireless routers find a new friend in fixed/mobile convergence in this week's new-product roundup.

Open Air Office: Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has updated its mobile corporate email technology, adding the capability to update and manage more devices over the air.

The Espoo, Finland-based mobile device giant has upgraded its Intellisync Device Management solution so that an administrator can now configure and manage mobile email, calendar, and contact settings on Nokia E-series and Windows Mobile 5.0-powered devices over the air. Nokia says that this capability will be essential for large scale enterprise deployments using Microsoft's Exchange Server for email and personal information updates.

The move comes days after Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) announced its intention to buy Good Technology Inc. Motorola's buyout could itself be seen as a reaction to Nokia's acquisition of Intellisync a year ago. (See Motorola Gets Good.)

Increasing competition in this sector will raise the pressure on the leading vendors to support more devices and offer richer capabilities than before. BlackBerry remains still the mobile email leader, but Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Motorola, and Nokia, are all now in contention to try and outpace the front-runner.

Cingular's New Ace? Number one U.S. operator Cingular Wireless today unveiled the "BlackJack" -- a $200 smartphone from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) that is will be dealt to the same users targeted by Verizon Wireless 's Motorola Q smartphone and the BlackBerry Pearl from T-Mobile US Inc. .

The ultra-skinny 3G phone offers a similar blend of business and consumer features to the Pearl and Q in addition to a large color screen and QWERTY keyboard. The Windows Mobile 5.0 device supports wireless access to email accounts through such systems as Good Mobile Messaging, Microsoft Push Direct with Pocket Outlook, and Cingular Xpress Mail. It also has a 1.3 Mega pixel digital camera with video capture capabilities, Stereo Bluetooth version 2 (with stereo headset support) and an MP3 player.

The device scene in general should get even more crowded as the holiday season looms.

From GGSN to FMC: Starent Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: STAR) -- the only successful startup remaining in the cellular wireless router business -- has decided to update its technology so that it will be applicable to the latest trend in wireless -- fixed mobile convergence.

Wireless routers -- a.k.a. "GGSNs" in GSM-derived networks, and "PDSNs" in CDMA systems -- are core network gateways that can be used to add packet-by-packet service creation, billing, and IP traffic management capabilities to cellular networks. Starent is planning to integrate these capabilities with call-control and policy enforcement for SIP and IMS systems through a software update to its ST16 Intelligent Mobile Gateway.

The Session Control Manager will act as a "critical first hop for SIP/IMS applications," according to the Tewksbury, Mass.-based company, enabling security, policy control, enhanced charging, and mobility. The firm claims that integrating FMC capabilities into an existing gateway on the network is a more efficient way for an operator to add FMC capabilites than adding a separate FMC box.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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