D-Link introduces V-Click dual-mode phones

By Justin Mann on October 3, 2006, 4:01 PM
There isn't much talk about meshing WiFi and Cellular networks, yet more and more phones are coming equipped with the ability to connect to both. In a press release issued today, D-Link announced a technology they are calling “V-Click”, which will be integrated into a phone. It will allow the device to toggle between using GSM frequencies to unlicensed 802.11 frequencies. When GSM is unavailable or WiFi is plentiful and the user wants to save money on voice or data, it can be switched (manually) to 2.4GHz and pick up local APs:

With a simple press of the V-CLICK button, the phone activates or deactivates the Wi-Fi connection that allows users to access websites or an Internet phone service, and enjoy the convenience of reduced communication costs, faster transfer speeds and increased productivity resulting from dual-mode phone access.
City-wide WiFi and generic hotspots are popping up more and more, making this kind of device more useful than it would have been five years ago. No mention is made as to how this may impact the clogging of the 2.4GHz range, and it is entirely possible that future phones like this will be able to use 802.11a as well, using the unlicensed 5.3GHz and 5.8GHz spectrums. You can read the full press release in the comments section.

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D-LINK ANNOUNCES ENTRY INTO MOBILE PHONE MARKET WITH V-CLICK™, AN UNLOCKED, DUAL-MODE GSM / WI-FI® PHONEV-CLICK Makes It Easy to Switch from GSM and Wi-Fi® Modes with a Single ClickFOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., October 3, 2006 — D-Link, the end-to-end networking solutions provider for consumers and business, today announced a new line of "V-CLICK" dual-mode phones that allow users to switch between cellular and Wi-Fi networks with the click of a button.When it begins shipping during the first quarter of 2007, the new D-Link V-CLICK line of phones will feature tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900 Mhz) and 802.11 Wi-Fi (2.4Ghz) access. By sliding a cellular service provider's SIM Smartcard or chip into the V-CLICK phone, the user automatically gains GSM access. Stored phone numbers and address books are also automatically taken into the phone via the SIM Smartcard or chip.With a simple press of the V-CLICK button, the phone activates or deactivates the Wi-Fi connection that allows users to access websites or an Internet phone service, and enjoy the convenience of reduced communication costs, faster transfer speeds and increased productivity resulting from dual-mode phone access.D-Link V-CLICK phones boast a sleek, polished black compact form factor (h 4.17", w 1.73", d 0.75"), with additional colors planned to fit any lifestyle. The V-CLICK phones support Opera Mobile™, a mobile browser for logging into Wi-Fi® hot spots, web surfing and email functionality on the V-CLICK's two-inch (176x220 pixels) bright color screen.In addition to operating like regular cell phones that communicate within a nationwide wireless network, D-Link V-CLICK phones will significantly reduce cell phone service costs by switching to the 802.11 wireless mode and connecting to lower-cost Internet telephone services. These services are available by way of well-advertised affordable consumer plans or from a cellular service provider network."D-Link's involvement in dual-mode technology is the next step to evolving wireless phone communication," said Steven Joe, president and CEO of D-Link Systems, Inc. "Similar to our popular flip-style Wi-Fi® phone, the V-CLICK phones are open and unlocked."We view the V-CLICK phone model as the ideal way for us to meet the ever-increasing demand from both consumers and business for a mobile device that allows for easy transition from wide-reaching cellular services to the much faster Wi-Fi and more affordable VoIP technologies," Joe added. "The market for dual-mode phones looks very promising, and the more than 10 years we've had in researching and developing 802.11 wireless and VoIP technologies make this a natural extension of our product offerings."For regular cell phone coverage, the D-Link V-CLICK phones will be "unlocked", allowing users to use their existing SIMs and pre-paid SIMs from traditional GSM cellular service providers anywhere in the world. By pressing the V-CLICK button, users activate a configurable wireless and SIP profile. Multiple profiles are available that make usage between home and office automatic.The V-CLICK feature is increasingly valuable as many cities continue to invest in metro 802.11 wireless technology designed to turn entire communities into Wi-Fi® zones.As wireless phones become more complex, they also have become more power-hungry. The V-CLICK phone lets users return to normal cell phone operation for increased battery life and increased standby and talk time.Standards-based wireless encryption (WEP™, WPA™ and WPA2™) built into the V-CLICK phone enables enhanced security of transmission.Key features of the D-Link V-CLICK phone include: * Wi-Fi® profile roaming for uninterrupted service between wireless zones * Opera Mobile™ browser for hot spot log-in and Web surfing * Email functionality - 50 emails can be stored in up to 10 accounts * Large color screen display with 176 by 220 pixels * Sleek, compact form factor (height, 4.17", width, 1.73", depth, .75"; weight, 3.32 oz) * Smart text input * Talk time - up to 5 hours GSM, 2 hours 802.11 wireless mode * Messages - up to 30 messages can be stored at 459 characters each * Phonebook - up to 300 contacts * Data storage - up to 24 megabytes for documents, images, music and video files. * Tasks - stores up to 100 entries * Calendar - up to 100 events, 160 letters per event * Charging - 3 hours, first time charge 8 hours * Compact design with internal antenna * Power-saving mode for maximum standby and talk timeD-Link V-CLICK phones will be a "pay-as-you-go" device, allowing users to purchase call time from service providers that will load up the phone's SIM card.Pricing and AvailabilityD-Link's first V-CLICK dual-mode, tri-band mobile phone is scheduled to ship early next year through the company's network of value-added resellers, solution providers and distributors, and online at www.dlinkshop.com. Manufacturer's suggested retail price is expected to be $599.99. D-Link also plans to offer accessories for its new dual-mode phone products.
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