Nortel Networks* [NYSE/TSE: NT] and Telstra have recorded a world first, demonstrating live Wireless Internet applications at speeds in excess of 50 kilobits per second (kbps) on a live GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) system, more than five times the speed currently available over GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) digital wireless networks.
GPRS is a packet-based, next generation communications platform which overlays a GSM network to provide high-speed wireless data access. It allows the subscriber's mobile phone or handheld computer to have 'always on' Internet access, with costs incurred only when data is retrieved.
In May, Telstra announced it had awarded a contract to Nortel Networks for deployment of a GPRS network in Melbourne, Australia. At the GPRS Service Deployment Strategies Congress, held recently in Sydney, Nortel Networks and Telstra demonstrated web browsing (HTML) via a notebook computer connected to a GPRS-enabled mobile phone. They also demonstrated Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) enabled applications such as stock quotes and weather reports on a Palm* handheld computer.
"The speeds achieved in Sydney demonstrated the viability of GPRS today and its ability to provide a significant advantage to consumers for Wireless Internet," said Peter MacKinnon, vice-president, Wireless Internet Strategic Marketing, Nortel Networks.
"In working with Nortel Networks, Telstra is defining itself as a leader in offering Wireless Internet service, with GPRS as an important first step," MacKinnon said. "GSM subscribers who upgrade to GPRS will gain significantly faster access to their email, web browsing, corporate intranet and other applications."
Said Telstra's General Manager Product Development, Max Jennings, "the combination of 'always on' capability with the faster speed that we are now able to support with this exciting new technology, will be a key driver of new mobile customer applications."
"Nobody else has been able to demonstrate real applications at this speed on a live GPRS system," said Kevin Dearsley, Telstra account vice-president, Nortel Networks. "This is a much faster data speed than most people experience even on a traditional wireline network let alone on a wireless network."
Industry analyst Herschel Shosteck Associates recently ranked Nortel Networks #1 among major vendors for its next generation wireless telecommunications infrastructure strategy. Reinforcing this leadership, Nortel Networks this week announced its 'Wings of Light' strategy, which will speed delivery of services and increase opportunity to profit from third-generation Wireless Internet. The strategy will unify the company's Internet Protocol (IP), Optical and Wireless Internet capabilities to redefine the high-performance Internet, and to help its customers establish first-mover advantage in the race to bring profitable Wireless Internet services to market.
Nortel Networks has a long relationship with Telstra. The two companies recently made the first cdma2000* 1XRTT voice and data packet call on Telstra's live 800MHz CDMA (code division multiple access) network, based on solutions from Nortel Networks. In March Telstra announced a GSM Wireless Office trial using Nortel Networks' PicoNode* in-building wireless solution; and Nortel Networks is a major supplier to Telstra's Data Mode of Operation (DMO) project.