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1. (WO1999009771) TRAVEL CONVERTER FOR A MOBILE TELEPHONE
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WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A mobile telephone converter comprising:
a controller for controlling operation of the converter and further for selecting a communication network for communicating with a mobile telephone;
at least one communication protocol functionality for effectuating communication between the mobile telephone and the selected communication network; and
an interface for effectuating communication between the mobile telephone and the mobile telephone converter.

2. The mobile telephone converter recited in claim 1, further including:
a plurality of communication protocol functionalities for effectuating communication between the mobile telephone and a plurality of communication networks; and
a switch, controlled by the controller for selectively connecting the mobile telephone to one of the communication protocol functionalities.

3. The mobile telephone converter recited in claim 1, wherein the interface is a semiconductor chip socket.

4. The mobile telephone converter recited in claim 1, wherein the interface is a Personal Computer Memory Card International Association connector.

5. The mobile telephone converter recited in claim 1, wherein the interface is an infrared communication link.

6. The mobile telephone recited in claim 1 , wherein the mobile telephone converter is incorporated into a personal computer and the plurality of communication modules are physically and electrically mated to the mobile telephone via the personal computer using a personal computer memory card interface association connector.

7. A mobile telephone for communicating with a plurality of communication networks using a plurality of communication protocols comprising:
a man machine interface having at least a microphone and an earphone;
a plurality of communication modules, each module containing functionality for effectuating communication with a communication network using a distinct communication protocol;
a converter for selecting a communication network and a communication module from the plurality of communication modules, the selected communication module having functionality to effectuate communication using the o protocol of the selected network, the converter further for effectuating communication between the man machine interface and the communication module; and
means for physically and electrically mating the plurality of communication modules to the converter.

8. The mobile telephone recited in claim 7, wherein each communication 5 module includes a memory containing protocol information identifying the communication protocol of the communication module, the protocol information being read by the converter.

9. The mobile telephone recited in claim 7, wherein the converter comprises:
0 a controller for selecting the commumcation network and further for selecting the communication module;
a switch for electrically connecting the man machine interface to the selected communication module, the switch being controlled by the controller; and
a sensor for detecting the presence of communication modules mated 5 to the converter and communicating the presence of the communication modules to the controller.

10. The mobile telephone recited in claim 7, wherein the means for physically and electrically mating the plurality of communication modules to the converter comprises a plurality of slots positioned on the converter and an edge connector positioned on each of the communication modules for inserting into one of the plurality of slots.

11. The mobile telephone recited in claim 7, wherein the means for physically and electrically mating the plurality of communication modules to the converter comprises, a ribbon cable.

12. The mobile telephone recited in claim 7, wherein the means for physically and electrically mating the plurality of communication modules to the converter comprises, a personal computer memory card interface association connector.

13. The mobile telephone recited in claim 7, further including a means for interfacing the man machine interface to the converter.

14. The mobile telephone recited in claim 13, wherein the means for interfacing the man machine interface to the converter is a fiber optic cable.

15. The mobile telephone recited in claim 13, wherein the means for interfacing the man machine interface to the converter is a wireless radio frequency communication link.

16. The mobile telephone recited in claim 7, wherein the plurality of communication protocols include at least one of the following:
a Global System for Mobile communication;
an Advanced Mobile Phone Service; and
a Digital Advanced Mobile Phone Service.

17. The mobile telephone recited in claim 7, wherein the mobile telephone is incorporated into a personal computer and the plurality of communication modules are physically and electrically mated to the mobile telephone via the personal computer using a personal computer memory card interface association connector.

18. A method for selecting a communication network and a communication module in a mobile telephone comprising the steps of:
detecting the presence of communication modules mated to the converter;
reading the protocol information from the memory of communication modules mated to the converter;
o identifying the communication networks currently available; and
selecting, according to a defined criteria, the communication network and communication module from the intersection of the set of communication networks identified a being available and the set of communication modules mated to the converter.

5 19. The method recited in claim 18, further including the step of connecting a man machine interface of the mobile telephone to the communication module.

20. A mobile telephone converter for effectuating communication between a satellite communication system and a mobile telephone, the mobile telephone 0 capable of communicating via a wireless communication network, comprising:
a controller for controlling operation of the converter and further for selecting the satellite communication system;
at least one communication protocol functionality for effectuating communication between the mobile telephone and the selected satellite 5 communication system; and
an interface for effectuating communication between the mobile telephone and the converter.