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First Verizon, Sprint 3G Phone Plans Emerge

Samsung Electronics will provide 3G-capable phones that work over Verizon Wireless' and Sprint's emerging 1xEV-DO cellular data networks starting in the first quarter of next year, a Samsung executive was quoted as saying Thursday.

Peter Skarzynski, an executive with Samsung's mobile phones division, confirmed the new phones to the Reuters news service. One of the phones has push-to-talk capabilities and voice recognition for hands-free operation, Reuters reported.

Verizon Wireless has been busy rolling out its 1xEV-DO network in the U.S. and Sprint claims it is not far behind. However, so far, access to the fast data network, which delivers typical speeds of 384 Kbps, has been limited to laptops using PC Card modems.

Verizon has said it expects to start selling EV-DO-capable phones next year but has not released any details. This is the first confirmation that such a phone is on the way. The report did not say which wireless operator, if either, would adopt the phone or what the price would be.

Samsung has been particularly aggressive in the mobile phone market, recently climbing into third place behind Motorola and Nokia in worldwide sales, according to one recent market study.

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