Swisscom Mobile launches mobile data transfer via GPRS
16 January 2002
On 1 February 2002 Swisscom Mobile will start offering GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) on a commercial basis. GPRS will be activated automatically and free of charge for customers with contracts: only the volume of transmitted data will be billed. GPRS will make the transmission of e-mails, for example, and chatting via mobile phone cheaper and more user-friendly.
GPRS technology has been integrated in Swisscom Mobile´s existing NATEL® network for over a year. Last year several thousand test users helped to check out the quality: Swisscom Mobile held back with the rollout of GPRS until the high requirements for both the mobile network and the GPRS terminals had been met.
Comprehensive service offering ? fair volume-based pricing
An advantage of GPRS technology is that once connections have been set up to a mobile data service they remain in place; this speeds up and simplifies access to, for example, e-mails or information services (such as news, traffic, financial data, etc.). With GPRS, callers can still get through while a data connection is running. To make it as easy as possible for users to enter the world of mobile data, Swisscom Mobile is activating GPRS automatically and free of charge for all NATEL® subscribers.
Instead of a basic monthly charge, subscribers are billed only for the volume of data transmitted. At the present time Swisscom Mobile´s GPRS offering is not only the best quality-wise in Switzerland but also the cheapest: The data transfer of each 10 Kilobytes costs CHF 0.19 until one Megabyte per month has been reached, then it drops to CHF 0.10. The smallest billable unit for a GPRS session is 10 Kilobytes. As a comparison: an average WAP page is smaller than 1 Kilobyte. This makes the spontaneous and regular accessing of WAP pages considerably cheaper.
From the outset Swisscom Mobile customers will be able to use GPRS to access a wide range of services such as calling up personal e-mails, consulting the SBB train timetable or participating in mobile chats. The mobile portal of Swisscom Mobile offers a comprehensive range of services.
GPRS paves the way for mobile data communication
Packet-switched data transmission makes GPRS the most important forerunner of UMTS, the third mobile generation. Both technologies will provide the basis for further growth in mobile data communication. Even after the rollout of UMTS, GPRS will continue to be deployed as a complementary technology for several years to come. Already today GPRS permits data transmission speeds of up to approximately 40 kbit/s. To be able to use GPRS customers require a corresponding handset. A large selection of those are already available in Swisscom Shops and specialist outlets.
As already announced, journalists are cordially invited to a media conference: Today, Wednesday, 16 January 2002, at 10.30 am. Location: Swisscom Business Solutions Center, Füsslistrasse 6, 8001 Zurich, (tram 6, 7, 11 or 13 from Zurich Main Station to ?Augustinergasse/Rennweg?), reception desk 2nd floor. Doors will open at 10.00 am. Journalists will be able to try out GPRS for themselves as well as talk to, among others, Carsten Schloter, CEO of Swisscom Mobile Ltd