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Xircom, TDK prep GSM/ISDN combo cards

Xircom has jumped into the 56kbps modem pool and promised to deliver GSM products based on Lucent Technologies' modem chipsets. The company has also vowed to price-cut its way into gaining market share in the GSM data card market.

Launching its first GSM PC Card at CeBit today - a data-only card supporting Ericsson and Philips handsets - Xircom president and CEO Dirk Gates said that a standard 56kbps agreement may not be too far away in the light of the 3Com/US Robotics mega-merger.

Xircom has also joined the race to develop to develop a multifunction card combining GSM and ISDN. "Stay tuned," said Gates.

TDK also anticipates a launch for a GSM/ISDN combo card later this year. PC Card division product manager Guy Tweedale said the product could get an airing at the UK's Networks Show. Tweedale was also a little dismissive of Xircom's GSM strategy, saying the sub-$300 was not particularly aggressive and that it may have moved too soon into the 56kbps market. "A standard is a long way off," he said. "We will definitely wait and see which way to go before committing."