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Nokia updates Net cell phone

Nokia's new "smart" cellular phone, which offers the ability to browse the Internet, handle email, and send faxes, can now transfer data to and from a PC.

    In Hannover, Germany, at the CeBIT trade show, Nokia introduced an updated version of a "smart" cellular phone that offers the ability to browse the Internet, handle email, and send faxes.

    Finland-based Nokia now offers software for transferring information between its 9110 Communicator and Windows-based computers. As is the case with previous models, information can be typed in on a keyboard and viewed on a built-in display that is revealed by opening the clamshell device; when closed, the Communicator is used as a normal cell phone.

    Another feature added to the 9110 Communicator is an optional device for storing store emails, faxes, or even travel guides and dictionaries. The miniaturized storage cards, which are manufactured by SanDisk, can hold up to 4MB of information, Nokia said. A faster modem capable of 14.4 kbps is also included.

    As more and more companies bring smart phones to market, questions remain about how popular the devices will become. Most smart phones are still difficult to use, analysts say.

    Users cannot easily access information services such on stocks, for instance, because they can't figure out how to use all of the functions on these enhanced phones. Nokia's device has attempted to avoid some of the pitfalls of a traditional cell phone by adding the keypad for navigation and data entry.

    The cell phone is based on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), an international wireless standard that is the also basis for one of the more prevalent cellular technology networks found in the U.S.

    The 9110 Communicator will be available in volume by the third quarter of 1998. No pricing was available.