United Arab Emirates telecommunications service provider ETISALAT and Motorola Inc. (NYSE:MOT) have completed the first live mobile data transfers in the Middle East over the trial General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). With a subscriber base of over one million, this breakthrough in the mobile data arena opens up a new market of Internet-based services for ETISALAT and its customers. The live call follows GPRS trials which began in June.
Motorola and strategic alliance partner Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) have the world's first proven commercial GPRS system, already in use by network operators worldwide. Using this overlay system on the ETISALAT GSM network, with Motorola's Timeport™ 260 GPRS-capable handsets, a number of innovative applications are currently being tested. Commercial GPRS availability on the ETISALAT network is scheduled for 2001.
GPRS high speed mobile data service means the user is 'always on, always connected', providing rapid connection to Internet-based services, and making WAP-enabled content far quicker to access. Working with the Motorola and Cisco applications integration organisation Invisix™, ETISALAT has chosen to test the viability of a number of applications using GPRS, including: ? Corporate email access ? Personalized stock quotes ? Courier package tracking ? Bookmarking (favourites) sites, news, sports, etc. ? Mobile banking and e-commerce services ? Instant messaging ? Streaming audio/video, using a PC connected to the Timeport 260 GPRS phone ? Location-based services such as finding the nearest ATM, pharmacy, restaurant etc
A spokesperson for ETISALAT said: "High speed reliable mobile data transfer is an enormous market opportunity for us, and a significant move forward for subscribers looking to broaden the capability of mobile opportunities. The applications proven to work over GPRS can be migrated to the anticipated third generation networks, which will enhance the user interface."
Jeff Cherif, regional general manager for Motorola's Global Telecom Solutions Sector, said: "ETISALAT's achievements in an economic centre of excellence and innovation will serve to drive the market forward towards the total acceptance of mobile data usage. Motorola's total end-to-end solution will be key to ensuring the success of that acceptance."
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