Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 10:54:24 PDT
Bloody Good Wireless
Wired News Report
10:05 a.m. Jun. 22, 2000 PDT
BT Cellnet launched the world's first "always-on" mobile network on
Thursday, introducing GPRS technology
that is expected to revolutionize the way people use the Internet.
Britain's second largest mobile operator is initially making GPRS, or
general packet radio service, available
only to businesses, allowing travelling workers to form wireless
connections between their laptops and their
head office computers.
But consumers will get access to the technology by the first quarter of
next year, with the
launch of mobile handsets that are permanently connected to the Internet.
Users will be able to access WAP (wireless application protocol) websites
and receive email
without first having to dial into an Internet service.
Analysts say GPRS phones will initially run at speeds approaching twice
that of dial-up
computer connections -- a smaller improvement than claimed by the industry
-- but will get
much faster in time.
GPRS is expected to encourage computer-phobic people onto the Internet,
predict wireless devices will overtake computers as the most popular way
of connecting to
the Web by 2003.
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