TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: How Smart is Your Cellphone?

How Smart is Your Cellphone?

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 5 Sep 2005 21:49:46 -0400

Wider broadband service, upgraded networks spurring phone makers to
produce ever more powerful devices

By Keith Reed, Globe Staff | September 5, 2005

Is a cellphone 'smart' if it can listen to a song on the radio and
identify it for you? How about one that let's you surf the Web, check
e-mail,or maybe catch a little news fromCNN while you ride the subway
to work?

Just what makes a cellphone a 'smartphone,' anyway?

Since the term became a buzzwordamong cellphone makers and service
pro-viders, prevailing wisdom has held that it refers primarily to the
slim but blocky PDA-style phones that include keyboards and PC-style
operating systems, such as Microsoft's Windows Mobile edition. Those
devices not only allow users to make phone calls, but to take
advantage of 'smart' data services and do things like access
corporate e-mail, send text messages, and even manipulate spreadsheets
or run many popular business software applications.

But lately, the defining characteristics of smart phones have shifted,
driven by the broader availability of broadband wireless networks that
can accommodate audio, video, and other services more popular among
everyday users than mobile professionals. Handset makers are building
more powerful phones aimed at everyday users, while service providers
are spending billions to upgrade their networks, anticipating a surge
in demand for services other than voice in the near future.

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