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D-Link goes mobile with unlocked WiFi/GSM phone

D-Link 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 .75"), with additional colors planned to fit any lifestyle. The V-CLICK phones support Opera Mobile(TM), a mobile browser for logging into Wi-Fi(R) 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.

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(R) 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(R) profile roaming for uninterrupted service between wireless zones

* Opera Mobile(TM) 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 time

D-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.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.