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Report cites voice functions still key to next-generation terminals

CEDAR KNOLLS, N.J.-A new report from Probe Research identified several characteristics of next-generation broadband mobile terminals that are at odds with the current preferences expressed by consumers, and consequently make the design and marketing of advanced mobile terminals a challenge for vendors.

“Current voice-centric mobile handsets are not sufficient to display the range of data that will be available on mobile networks offering data-only connectivity and the expanded bandwidth offered by 2.5G and 3G networks,” said David Chamberlain, research director at Probe. “But voice communications still remains the single most important function, and devices that make voice usage less convenient will meet user indifference.”

Beyond voice functions, Chamberlain identified the display of pictures as the next most likely use of a mobile terminal, a task that requires larger color displays, as well as sufficient processing power and memory. Other potential functions include playback and the possible storage of audio files and streaming audio and video.

Chamberlain said he does not expect a great deal of success for those devices that sacrifice convenience (size, weight and battery life), require an additional account for billing purposes or require a new or additional phone numbers, e-mail addresses or IP addresses.

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