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Treo tweak promises turbo access

Handspring releases a software upgrade to some Treo models that lets the handheld devices tap into GPRS wireless networks, which should speed up e-mail and Web access for owners.

Handspring is releasing a software upgrade in the United States that improves the e-mail and Web capabilities on its Treo devices, the company said Tuesday.

The update allows people with Treo models 180, 180g and 270 using T-Mobile cellular service to access GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) networks, which should provide improved e-mail and Web access. The new version is available free on the Handspring Web site, and T-Mobile plans to make it available for download on its Web site.

Handspring says it is working with Cingular to ensure that the update is compatible with that wireless carrier's GPRS network. The new software had already been made available to Treo owners in Europe and Asia.

The Treo, a combination cell phone and personal organizer, had previously used software designed to tap into GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) wireless networks to transfer data. GPRS is faster than

With the new software, Mountain View, Calif.-based Handspring will be able to sell Treo devices using T-Mobile's wireless network in California and Nevada, which it did not do prior to the release of the new software.

The upgrade automatically configures the Treo devices for data access.