Five phones for GPRS network by year end

Vodafone should have a suite of cellphones on offer for its GPRS network by the end of the year.

Vodafone should have a suite of cellphones on offer for its GPRS network by the end of the year.

Vodafone customers currently only have one GPRS phone - Ericsson's R520 - but by the end of the year that should be joined by four more phones as well as a range of PC cards for laptops.

"The way we're pitching the network, those will be the real killers," says Vodafone spokesperson Alison Sykora.

Ericsson will offer three phones - the R520; the T39, which will come to market in the next month; and the T68 which Ericsson expects will be accepted and available by October.

The R250 should run at 28.8kbit/s download at the moment although that will increase as Vodafone increases the network speed - at the end of the year both the R250 and T39 should run at up to 60kbit/s.

Nokia is only launching one GPRS phone in New Zealand this year - the 8310 and it will be available at the end of September. Motorola's sole offering, the V66 should be available in "commercial quantities" in August.

"It should have a download speed of 45kbit/s" says Motorola spokesman Damian Woolfall. He says Motorola has five "terminals" scheduled for launch worldwide this year, however because of the economic downturn and the belief that this region will be quite slow in taking up GPRS New Zealand only gets one model.

Both Vodafone and Telecom – with its new CDMA network - are claiming they will offer around 150kbit/s when running full at capacity - due towards the end of the year. However, both are currently running cut-down capacity - somewhere around 10kbit/s. Telecom users can buy from a range of cellphones but will have to upgrade them at the end of the year when the full-speed network goes live.

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