Samsung Electronics is raising the stakes in the mobile hand-held market with the release of devices that join next-generation cellular systems with wireless networking. Company officials said Samsung would unveil the first combination GSM/CDMA (global system for mobile/code division multiple access) mobile phone late next year. This handset is expected to have Bluetooth connectivity. It also will introduce a new Windows-based personal digital assistant that will combine dual GSM/CDMA communications capability with the 802.11b wireless LAN (local area network) standard. The new products can simultaneously provide audio, video and text-data services. Samsung believes they will help it overtake market leaders Nokia in mobile phones and Palm in PDAs. 'We are an aggressive company,' said Lee Kang-Suk, vice-president for new business development at Samsung Electronics' digital media system group. 'We are not satisfied if we are not number one or number two in the markets that we compete in.' Samsung Electronics is the world's largest producer of memory chips, liquid crystal displays, computer monitors and CDMA handsets, as well as the fifth-largest manufacturer of mobile phones. The company, which employs about 66,000 people in 46 countries, posted US$27 billion in total sales last year. Chun Kyong-joon, executive vice-president and chief technology officer for telecommunications at Samsung Electronics, said the release of the new Anycall-brand GSM/CDMA handset would strengthen the company's credentials as a first-tier maker of mobile phones. Last year it exported US$3 billion worth of mobile phones, which represented 70 per cent of the total US$4.3 billion of South Korean-made handsets exported. Mr Chun said Samsung's Anycall CDMA phone had been the leading brand in South Korea for several years, with an 85 per cent share of the market. Anycall also was the best-selling mobile phone for the United States' second-generation CDMA and personal communications system-standard networks, claiming a 28 per cent share of the market. Samsung's new GSM/CDMA phone will bear the Anycall brand in South Korea and Greater China, but will need a new identity for markets in the US and Europe. Mr Chun said surveys had shown the brand did not work as well in those markets as in Asia. Joseph Choi, assistant manager at Samsung Electronics Hong Kong, said the GSM interface of the new dual-standard handset would support GPRS (general packet radio services) networks. It also will support networks that offered CDMA 2000 1x and the second-generation cdmaOne standard. GPRS, a 2.5G technology, offers 115 kilobits per second speed for wireless Internet and other data-based communications. CDMA 2000 1x, a 3G technology, offers faster packet data connections at 144 kbps. Bluetooth, a low-cost radio system that wirelessly links electronic devices to each other and the Internet, is expected to be added to the GSM/CDMA phone. Samsung will introduce the technology to its mobile phones this year. Lee Myung-sung, vice-president for network research and development at dominant South Korean mobile operator SK Telecom, said the significance of the dual-cellular standard Samsung phone was it would allow global roaming for CDMA phone subscribers. The 600 million GSM users worldwide benefit from their networks' ability to support international roaming, while the nearly 100 million CDMA subscribers are still awaiting the completion of roaming agreements between their network operators. Eric Oh, Seoul-based senior analyst at research firm International Data Corp (IDC), believes the same global impact will be generated by Samsung's GSM/CDMA/802.11b-enabled PDA. He said Samsung Electronics would help push forward the mass acceptance of wireless Internet communications as consumers would have greater flexibility in making voice calls or data transmissions over the Internet with either handsets or PDAs at any time and any place. 'With the built-in communications feature of its new PDA and loyal brand following, Samsung Electronics will probably seize market share next year,' Mr Oh said.