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Optus GPRS Opens for Business

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Cable & Wireless Optus' General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) network has become operational in Sydney and Melbourne, with the carrier announcing today it is taking orders to deliver faster mobile data to its business customers.

CWO's managing director Paul Sullivan said the packet switched technology, which breaks information into discrete packets for more efficient transmission, will turn the mobile office into a reality.

"The faster data speeds provided by GPRS turns your mobile into a fast Internet gateway," he said. "For the first time we can provide the functionality of a fixed line computer - away from a fixed line and away from a fixed computer."

Optus will offer its corporate customers GPRS handsets from Mitsubishi and Sagem capable of delivering data speeds of up to 40kb per second over existing networks, which will switch on to national coverage in October.

"You can now access all the information that is available on your desktop computer when you are away from the office, using Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) on a mobile phone, using a laptop or a palm device," O'Sullivan said.

"This means real-time wireless access to corporate e-mail, intranets, business diaries and calendars," he said. "This is a boost for business users, improving their productivity, saving time and money.

Optus has allied itself with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), IBM and Nokia to integrate corporate customers' software systems to the mobile environment.

Nokia has confirmed it is supplying the GPRS core network, to be integrated into Optus' existing GSM 900 and 1800 network.

According to Nokia, Optus is among one of the first carriers in the world to own a commercial SMG31 compatible network, the specification that meets the GSM release 97 standard enabling GPRS network to support commercial packet data services.

Nokia and Optus have also been working together on the creation of an Australian center designed to encourage the development, testing and delivery of new mobile technology applications, particularly in the WAP field.



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