Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, under the gun from Ericsson to produce revenue, launched a range of new products Tuesday, including the T100 mobile phone and the HBH-60 wireless headset.

The joint venture’s new T100 wireless phone, available starting next
quarter, is targeted toward the “young and modern”, Sony Ericsson says. It supports media messaging, WAP-enabled Internet access, e-mail and other dvanced features. The T100 comes in three colors-icy blue, gentle gold and resh white-and weighs 75 grams. The phone will debut overseas, but a version will roll out early next year in the Americas, the company says.

Sony Ericsson also unveiled the HBH-60, a Bluetooth-enabled wireless
headset for hands-free mobile phone use. Available in the fourth quarter, the headset can be used within 10 meters of the phone it’s connected with.

Another hands-free device available next quarter is the HPR-20, which
combines live FM radio in stereo along with features enabling call handling.

Sony Ericsson was created last year from the handset units of Swedish
telecom equipment maker Ericsson and Japan’s consumer electronics giant Sony Corp. The joint venture has its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park, but its future is unlikely, as Ericsson has threatened to pull the plug.

The success of both the T100 and Sony Ericsson’s flagship P800 camera-phone, which will only be on sale before Christmas, is seen as important for the joint venture to keep open funding lines for its parents. Both Sony and Ericsson are committed to invest almost $500 million each in the joint venture until October 2003.

Ericsson on Tuesday also announced the first live handover of calls between the GSM and WCDMA third-generation mobile telephony standards. This means that a person talking on a cell phone
from a car would automatically have the call transferred from a 3G network covering only a city area to a GSM network when driving into the countryside.

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) is the world’s dominant
second-generation wireless technology, currently used by most European operators. WCDMA is a new standard which enables fast data rate transfers, particularly useful for data-heavy multimedia services such as picture and video messaging.

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