Motorola announces touch-screen mobile TV device

Several products to enhance consumer wireless experience to be shown at CTIA next week

Motorola announced six new products and technology demonstrations Wednesday that are designed to improve the consumer mobile media experience. The devices include a new mobile TV with a touch-screen user interface.

The new Mobile TV DH02 and the other five products will be shown at the CTIA mobile and wireless conference in Las Vegas next week, Motorola said. The previous version, the DH01, did not have the touch-screen capabilities.

U.S. regulators have not allocated wireless spectrum to allow digital broadcasts for handhelds such as the DH02, but Motorola believes that area will open up later this year or early in 2009, a spokeswoman said. The standard is "far more prevalent" in other areas of the world, she added.

Users of Mobile TV DH02 will be able to click, drag and scroll through icons in menus to reach mobile TV content. For wireless carriers, the device will include support for HSDPA and GPRS networks to allow the carriers to provide interactive services for customers. A few details of the DH02 were released; It has the ability to provide 25 frames per second of digital video and its offers portrait view for navigation as well as landscape view for mobile TV and personal media entertainment. Pricing will depend on individual carriers.

Also Wednesday, Motorola announced a plug-and-play desktop device to support indoor fixed WiMax networks, which are rolling out in some states from carriers such as Clearwire. The new CEPi 150 will likely be sold to consumers by carriers and is designed to provide automatic connections to a WiMax service from a carrier for use with devices within a home. It is also certified for mobile Wimax connections in vehicles. Motorola also will present it during a mobile WiMax demonstration at CTIA.

Analysts noted that Motorola's product announcements came on the same day that the company announced its intentions to split off its mobile devices division from its other divisions, probably in an attempt by Motorola to show that it still has a robust product line with new innovations.

The other four products are devoted to ways that carriers can improve wireless networks. A new CDMA femtocell will be demonstrated next week, to be installed in a home or small business to enhance wireless voice and data services. Motorola has previously announced a 3G UMTS femtocells. Femtocells are small, low power, self-installed wireless base stations.

Also, The company will demonstrate a single device to be installed in a carrier's wireless base station that can support both LTE (Long Term Evolution technology) and WiMax, and can be software configurable to support either technology.

In addition, Motorola will provide a separate demonstration of an LTE wireless network supporting high-definition video transmissions, well in advance of the expected rollout of LTE networks in two or more years in the U.S. Finally, the company plans to show at CTIA a network handoff of a voice-over-IP call and a streaming video from a CDMA EV-DO Rev A network to an LTE network.

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Matt Hamblen

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