One2One on fast track to better mobile datacomms

One2One on fast track to better mobile datacomms
Richard Ball One2One has announced a ?45m spending programme to add high-speed data capabilities to its mobile phone service. The other UK digital cellphone operators – Cellnet, Vodafone and Orange – are also planning fast data services within the next two years. One2One is using the general packet radio service (GPRS), an extension to the GSM protocol. It will give Internet access and e-mail at speeds of up to 115kbit/s. Applications include Web browsing, on-line banking and accessing company intranets. Cellnet and Vodafone also plan to adopt GPRS. The former announced in February plans for GPRS to be deployed next year. Vodafone is aiming for 2000 as well. “We’re starting regional trials in July. If that’s successful it will go nationwide by the year end,” said a Vodafone spokesperson. “If all goes well, we could have a commercial service by early 2000.” GPRS is the first implementation of packet switching within GSM networks. Rather than sending continuous data across the network, a packet based system only uses network bandwidth when data is there to be sent. Meanwhile, Orange plans to start selling a Nokia phone in the summer that implements the wireless application protocol (WAP). This allows Internet data, such as news, traffic and travel information, to be sent as text to mobile phones.


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