GSM wireless service provider Omnipoint Communications and the Bosch World 718 mobile phone proved to be a winning combination in 1998. The new mobile phone, available through Omnipoint, is our Product-of-the-Year.
The Bosch World 718 is the first mobile phone of its kind capable of operating in the United States and in hundreds of countries where GSM is available. GSM (Global System for Mobile) communications is the world’s most popular and advanced wireless technology. It is used by a 130 million people in 120 countries. First adopted in 1991 in Europe as the wireless standard on the continent, GSM technology quickly spread around the world.
Over the past year, Basex analysts tested the Worldphone in a variety of situations, using Omnipoint’s GSM service and taking advantage of the carrier’s extensive list of international roaming partners. Omnipoint has operational partnerships with more than 70 GSM carriers. The company offers international roaming throughout most of Europe as well as parts of the Middle East, Africa, South America and the Pacific Rim. New destinations are added each month.
In short, we found the phone to be a masterpiece of design. It is small, light and attractive. Battery life is luxuriously long and the charger that comes with the phone weighs just ounces. Coupled with Omnipoint’s international roaming availability, it just can’t be beat.
Most international GSM carriers operate at a different frequency that their North American counterparts, including Omnipoint. Until this year’s debut of the Bosch World 718, North American business travelers or sightseers had to change handsets in order to use their GSM wireless service overseas. That is no longer the case. By using the Bosch 718, these subscribers may use their service in Boston or Brussels.
Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.