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BT Cellnet first to release broadband wireless

By Aztech in News
Thu Jun 29, 2000 at 11:52:52 AM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)

As predicted recently (at the other place), BT Cellnet has become the first mobile operator to roll out GPRS (general packet radio service) services, narrowly beating a similar offering from T-Mobile in Germany. The packet-switched connection is constantly connected and includes unlimited 171.2kbps access, however the service is being launched at pricey a 45 ($68) per month, even though this speeds up WAP access it is mainly set to benefit roaming laptop users. GPRS is seen as an important step before the full third generation UMTS access is introduced in 2002, the standard will be completely packet-switched, even for voice calls.


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BT Cellnet first to release broadband wireless | 5 comments (4 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
How is US $68 pricey? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jun 29, 2000 at 09:43:08 AM EST

Granted, US $68 works to be about twice what broadband over a wire currently costs, but is also not locked to a single geographic point. I'd be far more likely to shell out the cash for a broadband connection that followed me everywhere.

Also, I imagine prices will fall as soon as some competition hits the market. Here in Cincinnati, the local telco was gouging its DSL customers ($500 installation fee + overpriced monthly fees) until Time Warner's roadrunner came along at $0 install and 2/3 of the monthly rate. Now prices are about even and both are lower than they were originally.

Now if only cable companies were proclaimed to be common carriers and we could get even more comptetion....

"Broadband?" (3.50 / 2) (#3)
by Pseudonymous Coward on Thu Jun 29, 2000 at 10:53:03 AM EST

I think calling a data service with speeds roughly equivalent to a 28.8k modem a "broadband" service is a little bit misleading. Yes, it's faster than the measly 9.6k data rates that are currently available to consumers, but not by enough to merit the term.

At those rates, there are existing, established, and stable services at a comparable price point. [Apologies for the low quality of that link -- they seem to have recently overhauled the site in anticipation of a new product, and I can't find the existing product line]

I find The Register's perspective amusing... (2.00 / 1) (#4)
by KindBud on Thu Jun 29, 2000 at 07:31:53 PM EST

Here they are, griping because BT Cell isn't releasing the promised 171kbps service right now, but only the 27kbps service.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, our capitalistic, free-market society has a mish-mash of standards for cell phones, none of them compatible with each other or with the Europeans, and wireless data services are only just now emerging, and only at 9.6k, or 14.4k if you're lucky.

I was amused and amazed yesterday when a vendor came to visit me from Sweden, and his swedish cell phone worked perfectly on Pacific Bell's TDMA service.

Try that with your Qualcomm-powered CDMA phone (using it in Europe, I mean - heck, try using your cell phone outside of your providers service area! Now that I think of it, I drop calls in my provider's service area...). I'm not down on capitalism, but it kinda sucks when the (theoretically) more practical competitive principles of the US economy fail to outperform markets that are regulated much more heavily than ours.

just roll a fatty

[ Parent ]

BT's misplaced priorities (none / 0) (#5)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu Jun 29, 2000 at 07:32:30 PM EST

It'd be nice if BT could concentrate on getting ADSL rolled out in the few places it promised this summer, rather than pushing GPRS. Oh, I know: they'd rather maximise profits from mobile users, than deal with the frustrated masses who've been waiting for bloody ever for ADSL...

BT Cellnet first to release broadband wireless | 5 comments (4 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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