Motorola to Base GPRS Center in Germany

LONDON (06/05/2000) - As part of its development of GPRS (general packet radio services) for its mobile data network, U.S. communications firm Motorola Inc. is building a worldwide GPRS center in Berlin, the company announced today.

"The center should be fully operational by the forth quarter," said Motorola's U.K. spokeswoman, Beth Sharples. The first phase of the center will accommodate 40 employees specializing in the packet data technology, Sharples added.

GPRS is a technology which enables mobile terminals to remain permanently connected to the Internet, and transmit data at five to 10 times the speed of current transfer rates.

The GPRS center is part of a 20 million euro (US $18.9 million) investment Motorola announced in June of last year for the construction of a new high-tech manufacturing base in Berlin, though Sharples declined to say how much money is being invested specifically in the GPRS center.

Motorola already has GPRS development and integration projects in Swindon, U.K.; Cork, Ireland; Madrid, Chicago and Vancouver, Canada. The Berlin center will be the hub for all of the company's GPRS work and will focus on interoperability testing for GPRS networks, Sharples said.

Motorola has entered into a number of GPRS deals with telecommunication companies. U.K. mobile phone operator BT Cellnet, a subsidiary of British Telecommunications PLC (BT) plans to launch what it bills as, the world's first GPRS service on June 26, using Motorola's GPRS core network. The service will initially be for the corporate market, according to BT. [See "BT Cellnet Puts Internet Strategy to Work," Jan. 24.]Furthermore, as part of a deal with Deutsche Telekom AG's mobile subsidiary, T-Mobil GmbH, Motorola is working on upgrading the company's core network to support high-speed packet data services. Within the next two months, Motorola's Network Solutions Sector (NSS) will supply T-Mobile with a nationwide GPRS core network system, Sharples confirmed.

Motorola, in Schaumburg, Illinois, can be reached at +1-847-576-5000, or at http://www.motorola.com/. BT Cellnet, in Leeds, is at +44-990-214-000, or at http://www.btcellnet.co.uk. BT, located in London, can be contacted at +44-171-356-5000, or at http://www.bt.com/. T-Mobil, in Bonn, can be reached at http://www.t-mobil.de/.

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