Nokia sees Australia's wireless future

Australia is leading the world in adopting wireless and mobile technology, according to communications giant Nokia.

More than a quarter of the Australian workforce is now "mobile", said Bob Brace, Nokia's vice president of mobile solutions. Brace is in Australia to give a keynote presentation at IDC's Enterprise Mobility conference in Sydney this week.

"Australia is (culturally) not adverse to taking up new technology and tweaking it to suit them," he said.

"Whereas in the US market, for example, there's often a general perception that if it wasn't developed there it's not any good."

Brace pointed to Personal Broadband Australia and its iBurst technology as an example of an Australian company taking new solutions to market locally.

Brace introduced two new BlackBerry-enabled handsets - the Nokia 9300 Smartphone and Nokia 9500 Communicator - to the Australian market. BlackBerry is a combined voice and data wireless technology for handheld devices.

In addition to having BlackBerry functionality, the phones feature e-mail with attachments, integrated QWERTY keyboards, conference calling, SMS and MMS. They each have 80MB built-in memory plus MultiMediaCards (MMC), and Tri-band (EGSM 900/1800/1900) for use on five continents. The phones also have built-in office tools supporting documents, spreadsheets, presentations and a PDF viewer.

"So for the first time, you will be able to receive a document, edit it and send it back on your phone effectively," Brace said, adding that all Nokia's enterprise phones shipping next year will have wireless LAN capability and at least 54MB inbuilt memory.

He said Nokia differentiated itself from the flood of cheap-handset competition by concentrating on the enterprise convergence space: "It is all very well to have a nice new flashy handset or device, but if it doesn't integrate at the back end, if you can't manage it, and if it is not secure than it has no place in the enterprise."

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