Etisalat Upgrades Mobile Services
Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) is planning the commercial launch of the GPRS (general packet radio services) network, the first step towards introducing third-generation mobile services by October, a senior company official said on Sunday.
Etisalat has secured 85,000 subscribers for its WAP service since this service was launched in April, reflecting the growing interest in mobile data services, Saleh Al Abdooli, manager of the company’s engineering mobile system, told the Gulf News.
"The trials before the launch of the GPRS are on. Etisalat is evaluating the technology vendors/partners which will be finalized shortly."
The five vendors in the race are Ericsson, Alcatel, Motorola, Lucent and Siemens.
Etisalat plans to introduce the EDGE (enhanced data for global evolution) next year.
"This technology is the evolution for GPRS, whereby the platform of GPRS can be used but with different software," he said, adding that basically EDGE will provide swifter communications and transmission of data up to 384 kilobits per second (kb/s).
Etisalat currently has its GSM services on a 2.5G network since the trials for the GPRS is underway. Transmission of data under the GPRS is 115 kb/s.
The investment outlay for the overall internet protocol network for the next three to four years is Dh4 billion, including the new mobile services.
As one of the first countries to adopt the latest technology, the UAE now has 1.7 million mobile phone subscribers and 1.1 million fixed-line subscribers, he added.
He said: "The country can boast of more than a 50 percent penetration in mobile telephony, which is remarkable because the UAE's population is about three million." – Albawaba.com
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