Nokia unveils new push-to-talk GSM phone

The world's largest mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia, has unveiled its first handset with a "walkie-talkie," or "push-to-talk" feature at its Mobility Conference in New York.

The Finnish company said it was also the first manufacturer to offer a push-to-talk phone based Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology.

The push-to-talk feature allows users to quickly connect with another person or a group of people by pressing a side-mounted key and speaking into the phone.

In addition to the walkie-talkie feature, the new 5140 phone will include a digital compass and integrated video graphics array (VGA) camera, the company said.

In Asia and Europe, the 5140 will operate in the 900, 1800 and 1900 frequencies and support GSM, General Packet Radio Server (GPRS) and Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) network technologies.

In the Americas, the phone will operate in the 850, 1800 and 1900 frequencies and support the same Asian and European network technologies. Both versions are expected to be available in the second half of 2004, a Nokia spokesperson said.

The phone will be priced between $US150 and $US200, the spokesperson said.

Prices for Asia and Europe were not immediately available.

During 2004, Nokia plans to introduce a full range of push-to-talk GSM phones, including smart phones based on the Symbian operating system (OS).

Beginning in 2005, the company intends to offer push-to-talk phones based on GPRS and the new third-generation Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) technology.

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