Motorola Gets Intelligent

Motorola has launched four new GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) mobile phones in the Middle East under a new marketing campaign entitled ‘Intelligence Everywhere’.

  • E-Mail
By  Kieran Potts Published  September 8, 2001

Motorola has launched four new GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) mobile phones in the Middle East under a new marketing campaign entitled ‘Intelligence Everywhere’.

It symbolises a major re-branding exercise for the company which is gearing its new mobile products increasingly towards GPRS ‘2.5G’ and, ultimately, third generation (‘3G’) wireless systems.

Each phone is designed for a different sector of the market. The chic V66, which is on sale in the Middle East now, is Motorola’s first ‘intelligent’ GPRS-enabled phone, with voice-activated dialling, a real-time clock, currency converter and calculator, aiming to blend fashion with state-of-the-art technology.

The Timeport 280 is less sleek but usability is increased with the larger screen. The Accompli 008 is an integrated mobile phone and PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) and boasts full e-mail access and downloadable Java-based programs. Finally, the Talkabout 192, with its interchangeable front covers, animated screensavers and ‘chat rooms’, is intended for younger people.

Patrick Mulligan, general manager of Motorola’s personal communications arm in the Middle East, said that the release of these new products would allow Motorola customers to “harness the power of wireless, broadband, the Internet and multimedia” into singular electronic devices.

Etisalat will start to introduce GPRS by the end of the year. It is a broadband service which will be ‘added-on’ to the existing GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) network, increasing file transfer speeds from the current 9.6-14.4 kilobits per second to as much as 150 kilobits per second (introductory speeds will be between 27 and 56).

Users will be ‘always connected’ to their service provider and charged relative to the amount of data they access, rather than time spent online.

Motorola is putting considerable effort into taking advantage of the possibilities 2.5G broadband connections have for providing new services to wireless users. Using downloadable programs based on Sun Microsystems’ Java language, Motorola has developed software for real-time news and financial data feeds onto your mobile phone or PDA.

One program even allows doctors to access patients’ records while moving, perhaps, to the scene of an emergency. The potential to introduce online-banking to your mobile phone is there; location-based services will offer information on hotels, cinemas and the nearest petrol station; and, of course, there will be considerable improvements in online games.

Yet this is but one step towards what Motorola envisages as an ‘intelligent future’ where machines can talk to machines. The company has already invested $700 million in 3G technology, the emerging broadband communication system with unlimited potential for wireless data transfer.

One day, not only will your PC be able to communicate wirelessly with your PDA, but your car will talk to the nearest service stations for quotes on petrol prices, vending machines will take payments from your mobile phone, and your fridge will order more milk when you run low.

“It is not about making things more complicated”, said Patrick Mulligan, “it is the opposite; it is about making life simpler and easier.”

It may sound far-fetched, but this concept of ‘Intelligence Everywhere’ is a philosophy and vision that is driving the development of future products at Motorola. Mulligan concluded that it was not a question of if these things will happen, just a matter of when.

While Motorola hopes that the first 3G services in the Middle East will be online by the end of 2002, the question of ‘when’ depends very much on market conditions, changing user demand, and the co-operation of Etisalat.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code