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Local firm develops Neotel phone

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The new CDMA EVDO fixed wireless phone being offered by Neotel – which gives users all the conveniences and features of a fixed-line telephone while providing a modem for data access over its CDMA network – was developed by South African company Du Pont Telecoms.

Du Pont Telecoms CEO Graeme Victor says the company developed the phone – the world's first CDMA EVDO desk phone that offers broadband services – at Neotel's request.
"Neotel had identified the need for a phone for the business/home office in South Africa that would run off a voice and data platform and provide the functions of a normal business telephone, as well as high speed data connectivity integrated into a PC," he says.
The phone was designed specifically to work like a normal business/home office telephone, offering functions like Caller ID, Call Hold, Speed-Dials, Phonebook and SMS functionality without the need for wires. It has a clear and large LCD panel with backlit support, making it a comfortable experience for the user.
Bill Hearmon, chairman of the African CDMA Forum who started using the phone at the start of the Neotel CDMA trial several months ago, describes it as "an amazingly robust, well-featured and easy-to-use" handset.
The phone offers backup battery support, ensuring no disruption to communication in the event of power outages.
Development of the phone was based on CDMA2000 EVDO technology as this allows for particularly high capacity/high speed data and Internet access.
For the forward link, for example, CDMA2000 EVDO provides peak data rates up to 2,4Mbps and supports demanding applications such as streaming video and large file downloads. The reverse link data rates range from 9,6kbps to 153,6kbps.