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New cell phone features come out every day, thanks to advances in digital techonology that put more storage in smaller chips for less cost. Here's a roundup:
High-speed networks: Cell phone providers like Verizon and Sprint developed high-speed data networks, making fast Internet browsing and video broadcasting instant realities.
VCast: With a high-speed network -- called EV-DO -- in place, Verizon has begun offering Vcast, a video-on-demand service that includes syndicated and original programming. Just watch the cost of those downloads.
Voice over IP: New technologies from Motorola and Skype allow smartphones with Wi-fi to place phone calls on a voice-over IP Internet network, greatly reducing or eliminating the cost of the call. Not quite ready for prime time, especially with providers who don't want to lose precious revenue.
Music: Both Motorola and Sony Ericsson have released cell phones designed to double as MP3 players. Motorola's is even branded with Apple's iPod/iTunes system. But the big news will be when Apple engineers the iPod to add phone capabilities.
Secure credit card transactions: You can already but from Amazon over your phone, but to go to the next step of e-commerce, you need your card data store securely, but accessible over your phone. Nokia, Philips and Sony have formed a group to come up with an international standard.
Bottom line: There are new features seeminly every day from cell phone providers, including video broadcasts and digital downloads. But the only thing they all have in common is that you're going to pay for them -- sometimes big money.