Nortel joins the Telstra GPRS party

Following Tuesday's announcement that Ericsson will build a GPRS network for Telstra in Sydney, the carrier has now awarded a similar contract to rival networking company Nortel Networks.

Nortel has been selected to upgrade Telstra's GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) in Melbourne.

Under the contract, Nortel will supply a turnkey GPRS solution including GSM 1800 radio base stations, core GPRS network elements and an IP network management solution, Preside.

According to a Telstra spokesperson, the deals with Ericsson and Nortel see the companies installing infrastructure on Telstra's already existing GPRS network which went live on Tuesday.

Telstra's new GPRS network enables data transmission speeds to double -- to 48 kilobits per second -- the speed available on GSM networks. By 2001, it is expected speeds of 80 kilobits per second will be achievable using GPRS technology. Telstra MobileNet Customers will be able to have instant internet access from their mobile.

In addition, the technology will provide wireless application protocol (WAP) and web browsing (HTML) access to, as well as access to realtime stock updates and "always available" email.

Customer trials of the network are expected to begin later this month.

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