Etisalat targeting 3G services by October

Etisalat is expected to launch a GPRS (general packet radio services) network, by October this year, according to Gulf News reports. The network will pave the way for 3G mobile services.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  June 25, 2001

Etisalat is expected to launch a GPRS (general packet radio services) network, by October this year, according to Gulf News reports. The network will pave the way for 3G mobile services.

“The trials before the launch of the GPRS are currently on. Etisalat is evaluating the technology vendors/partners which will be finalised shortly,” Saleh Al Abdooli, manager, engineering mobile system, Etisalat, was quoted as saying.

Ericsson, Alcatel, Motorola, Lucent and Siemens are amongst those pitching their services.

Etisalat is reported to have an investment outlay for the overall Internet protocol (IP) network of Dhs 4 billion over the next three to four years.

Etisalat is already thinking beyond GPRS, with plans for EDGE (enhanced data for global evolution) by the end of 2002. EDGE can provide faster communications with data transmission up to 384 kilobits per second.

Abdooli also revealed that UAE now has 1.7 million mobile phone susbscribers, and 1.1 million fixed line subscribers. “The country can boast of more than 50% penetration in mobile telephony,” he added.

While subscribers to WAP, which was launched in April this year, have topped the 85,000 mark now.

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