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One of This Year's Hottest Holiday Gifts.

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by: ARA
(ARA) - When your friends and family gather around the tree on Christmas morning to see what ?Santa? brought them, you don't have to be there in person to enjoy the looks on everyone?s faces. Get them a camera phone equipped with Multimedia Messaging (MMS) and they'll be able to send you an instant message of thanks.

?Whether your loved ones live in the next town or on the other side of the country, you'll be able to experience their joy instantly,? says Andy Wilson, vice president of marketing for Cingular Wireless, the second largest wireless carrier in the nation.

New camera phones equipped with MMS are one of the hottest gift ideas for the season because they make a lasting impression. They allow users to send photos with voice messages, music, text, and graphics instantly to wireless phones or to e-mail accounts.

?Wireless technology has made a quantum leap in just the past year. Conversations are crisper, enhanced services are on the rise, and multimedia messaging services that allow you to share photos instantly are becoming more extensive and widely available. The fact that these phones are so versatile almost guarantees they'll be big sellers during the holiday season,? says Wilson.

If you decide to buy one for yourself, or as a gift, here are a few things you should do before making a purchase:

* Shop around for an MMS phone that?s easy to use. The process for sending a message should be simple -- take the picture, record the voice message, add the text and send. If it gets more complicated, look elsewhere.

* Shop around and examine pricing plans -- some providers offer promotions allowing unlimited use of their messaging services for a set fee. Others will charge you a fee each time you send a message.

* Ask if you will you be charged additional airtime or kilobytes in addition to your per message charge when sending and/or receiving MMS messages.

* Find out if you can send the same message to multiple people without being charged for each person on the distribution list.

* Ask if you can send and receive MMS messages while roaming.

MMS phones range in price from $20 for phones with a digital camera attachment to over $199, for phones with a built-in camera. For more information about Cingular?s MMS services, log onto

Courtesy of ARA Content

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