LibanCell, Lebanon’s GSM mobile telephony operator, and the international Internet networking company Cisco Systems have announced the implementation of next generation GSM mobile services across the whole of Lebanon in a project worth over five million dollars.
LibanCell subscribers will now have high-speed access to the Internet or their corporate data networks via their mobile phones using new GPRS technology and internetworking systems from Cisco Systems. The new service marks the introduction of full GPRS services across the whole country for the first time.
GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) is a transitional technology that allows mobile users to overcome the limitations of currently implemented GSM technology. LibanCell’s new services are designed to allow people to have multimedia access over the wireless network: whether it’s a mobile phone, a personal digital assistant (PDA) or a laptop computer with a GSM connection, GPRS gives users the full power of the Internet, wherever they are.
Initially the GPRS service brings high-speed mobile Internet and data access to users: it is a digital “always on” service—meaning that users do not need to dial up to get a connection—that offers bandwidths starting from 20kbps, increasing to 64kbps and more as the service grows. Right from the start users will enjoy a three to fourfold increase in transfer speeds, with tenfold increases possible within a short time, a company release stated.
“Cisco technology brings the Internet to mobile users, transforming their telephone into a gateway to multimedia services, the World Wide Web, e-mail and streamed content,” said Tony Ghattas, Service Provider Business Development Manager at Cisco Systems.
“This GPRS project will have an immense impact on Lebanon’s technology services industry. There is now a complete infrastructure for entrepreneurs to develop new services that can be delivered over the mobile network. GPRS services over the GSM network will also have a huge impact on Internet penetration in this country. The closer people are to the Internet, the clearer they can see new opportunities to do business better, or even invent whole new classes of business,” said Hussein Rafai, Chairman and General Manager of LibanCell. “LibanCell aims to ensure that Lebanon is an Internet technology producer, not a consumer.”
Cisco is helping LibanCell move away from traditional infrastructure which emphasis voice, to a packet infrastructure where any service, whether its voice, video or data, is possible. “Cisco’s packet-based network technology allows operators to move to implement transitional technologies such as GPRS quickly and cost effectively, satisfying customer demands in the short term while giving a smooth migration path to the upcoming third generation (3G) technologies such as UMTS,” concluded Cisco’s Ghattas.
The California-based Cisco’s regional Middle East office is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. — (menareport.com)
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