GPRS coming on stream: Vodafone

Vodafone New Zealand says GPRS handset availability problems have been sorted out and the 2.5G mobile service is in commercial use. The network has been in place for a year but uptake has been restricted by a scarcity of phones.

Vodafone New Zealand says GPRS handset availability problems have been sorted out and the 2.5G mobile service is in commercial use. The network has been in place for a year but uptake has been restricted by a scarcity of phones.

Spokesman Steve Aschebrock says three models from Ericsson became available from January 1 and a Nokia model is planned to be GPRS-enabled by the second quarter of the year, with GPRS-enabled handheld devices also becoming available this year.

Vodafone has been working with software developers to build applications to make full use of the data capabilities; an example is MOSO, a joint venture with Microsoft and Ericsson which enables Outlook Express functionality via WAP over GPRS.

One company already using GPRS is Tip Top Ice Cream.

The company has trialled the technology and is planning to roll it out over the next month on its Symboll CE handheld device network, to allow sales reps in the field to request stock for the next day via the devices, says network manager Robert Hawes.

Telecom launched CDMA One, a slower version of its full 2.5G technology, last year and the full 2.5G version, CDMA1X, this year.

Both technologies enable data speeds of around 150kbit/s, 10 times that possible with 2G technology.

CDMA is a completely new network for Telecom, which previously used 2G technology TDMA, which is still available for customers who don’t want CDMA phones.

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