Kings Of The Road

One + One + One = One

Is your briefcase bursting with a cellular phone, a pager and a personal digital assistant (PDA)? This year, convergence products merging several functions into one digital unit are all the rage. They simplify and integrate communications technology so you no longer have to monitor separate pager, voice-mail and e-mail messages.

Available by mid-year, the pdQ smartphone from Qualcomm looks like the offspring of a cell phone and 3Com's Palm III. With this 1,900 MHz smartphone (pricing not yet available), you'll not only be able to make voice calls on digital networks using the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) standard, but also keep track of appointments, catalog contact information, send and receive e-mail, surf the Net, and receive alphanumeric pages. The PDA features are possible because the pdQ uses the same operating system as the Palm III.

If you often find yourself traveling outside CDMA service areas, you might want to check out Qualcomm's 800 MHz Q phone. A dual-mode analog/digital phone, it automatically switches between CDMA and analog.

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This article was originally published in the April 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Kings Of The Road.

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