Mobile devices open access to enterprise

TORONTO — Kyocera Wireless Corp. unveiled to the Canadian market its 6035 Smartphone, a digital phone-handheld computer hybrid that highlighted the mobile computing theme of Comdex Canada 2001 on Wednesday.

San Diego-based Kyocera’s

Smartphone packs phone services like voice dialing and the Palm 3.5 operating system into a device about 40 per cent larger than a standard mobile phone. (The Smartphone’s measurements are 5.6 inches by 2.5 inches by 0.86 inches.) Available as of next week through BellWorld stores for $799, the tri-mode Smartphone features Web and email access and supports most Palm applications.

“”The early adopters are going to jump on it,”” said Robert Plume, business development manager for Kyocera. “”Long term, I’m thinking enterprise sales.””

The Smartphone has an infrared port for connecting to external devices, but is not expandable like later-model Palms.

Also hanging its hopes on the mobile movement is Vancouver-based Veratium Software Ltd. The company was at Comdex’s opening day showcasing its Wireless Desktop Software, which affords wireless users access to their desktops and corporate networks.

With Wireless Desktop installed in a company’s Windows 2000 server, employees can access the enterprise’s front and back office through their Blackberry, personal digital assistant or phone. This includes WAP phones, Stinger phones or i-mode phones.

Veratium president and CEO Phil Calvin called Wireless Desktop real-time software.

“”If you open an email using our system, it shows ‘read’ when you get back to your (office computer),”” he said.

The enterprise version of Wireless Desktop, priced at $300 per user, has been commercially available for three months. Calvin said a personal version will be made available in the third quarter.

Telecommunications companies were also busy pushing their wireless wares. Bell Mobility’s Workstyle, like Veratium’s Wireless Desktop, allows wireless users access to corporate networks. Workstyle, which retails for US$120, also affords a real-time wireless connection to e-mail, calendar and contacts, but not to the desktop.

Montreal-based Microcell Solutions Inc., which sells under the brand name Fido, was pitching its new digital general packet radio service (GPRS) network and it’s upcoming WOW!Office solution.

The GPRS network offers dial-free 56k mobile Internet access. WOW!Office, slated for a fall release, promises to merge wireless and wireline communications, allowing employees to be reached at one number regardless of whether they are at the office or on the road.

“”All the features of your PBX (private branch exchange), you can find them on your Fido phone,”” said Microcell’s Yves Gagnon.

Comdex vendors were also offering wireless gadgets on Wednesday. Vaughan, Ont.-based Matias Corp. had on display its half-keyboard and wearable keyboard (priced at $150 and $400 respectively) for Palms and Handspring PDAs. Eastman Kodak Company was showing off its Palmpix cameras, available for the Palm 100, III and m500 series for between $159 and $199. Targus Canada Ltd. was showcasing a thumb-keyboard for PDAs that should be available by September.

At least one exhibitor featured security designed specifically for wireless users. San Jose, CA.-based F-Secure Corp. offers anti-virus software and a file-encryption application for the Palm OS.

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