Telstra remains network agnostic

Telstra has described its market approach as "network agnostic", not favouring one solution over another including GPRS (General Packet Radio Service).

The company's product strategy manager David Kaye said the company will develop GPRS on an equal basis with other networks.

A GPRS network lets users remain connected to the Internet and send or receive data, e-mail or voice information at any time.

Kaye said the service development will depend on availability of suitable GPRS mobile handsets.

He said companies alone aren't going to make GPRS or any other 3G services successful unless it is deployed to consumers.

"It's early days at this point but data is definitely a growth potential on cellular networks," Kaye added.

Telecommunications analyst Paul Budde described Telstra's approach as "confused", pointing out that the telco has backpeddled since first promoting GPRS and is now using it in the business market.

"The reality is that all these technologies are niche market technologies and they will never reach mass market," he said.

"There will be some niche consumer markets but GPRS will mainly remain a business application."

GPRS is a 2.5 generation network commercially launched by Telstra earlier this year. Competitor, Cable & Wireless Optus has also launched a GPRS service, and Vodafone Australia has trialled a GPRS service.

GPRS has higher peak bit rates than GSM, or the Global System for Mobile communications network, with rates of up to 40kbits per/sec depending on handset capability.

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