Ericsson and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co., Ltd. have signed a contract for the first commercial rollout of GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) in Taiwan. Far EasTone plans to introduce the packet-based technology into island-wide commercial service during next year.
Using the Ericsson-supplied system, Far EasTone will begin trialing GPRS applications, services and billing, as well as evaluating the network impact of GPRS, during the first quarter of next year. The trial system is one of 45 such systems Ericsson is delivering to mobile operators in Asia- Pacific, the Americas and Europe. The introduction of island-wide commercial service will follow during the year.
"We view Ericsson as our natural partner when it comes to creating and rolling out new high-speed services," said Far EasTone President Joseph O'Konek. "Our two companies will work hand in hand in assessing GPRS in our network and in pinpointing the best applications in the new era of high-speed wireless data communications in Taiwan."
This contract to supply GPRS further cements the already strong relationship between the two companies. Ericsson supplied the GSM core network infrastructure to Far EasTone, which began operations in January of 1997.
"This contract means that Ericsson can help make sure that Far EasTone's customers are among the first to use and benefit from the next level of high speed wireless data services based on GPRS packet-switching technology," said Per-Arne Sandström, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Ericsson GSM Systems.
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