Habib Bank embraces GPRS technology

Habib Bank AG Zurich says that its WAP banking service will run four times faster than previously over Etisalat's new GPRS network.

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By  David Ingham Published  February 28, 2002

Habib Bank AG Zurich has reconfigured its WAP banking system — HBZwap — to work on Etisalat’s new General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) mobile phone network. Habib Bank claims that HBZwap will now run four times more quickly over Etisalat’s GPRS network than over the previous traditional GSM system.

“We are delighted to continue our technological advancements by being the first bank in the United Arab Emirates to offer GPRS-enabled WAP banking,” said Reza Habib, joint president, Habib Bank AG Zurich. “Our existing HBZwap customers have been asking for faster mobile banking and we’re now able to offer it. This is all part of our ‘AAA Banking’ — Anytime, Anywhere, Anyhow”.

WAP is the mobile phone equivalent of the World Wide Web, allowing mobile users not only to talk on their phones, but also to browse basic, text-based ‘WAP sites.’ Whilst a good idea in theory, few mobile phone users have bothered to subscribe to WAP services because they are slow and, because they are text based, they have found them boring.

GPRS deals with at least one of those problems by speeding up access times. Habib Bank’s HBZwap supports various services, such as viewing of account statements, balance enquiries, fund transfers, payment of Etisalat and DEWA bills, and ordering cheque books.

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