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Fastlink launches GPRS in Jordan

Mobile operator Fastlink has beaten rival Mobilecom to become the first to launch a commercial GPRS network in Jordan. GPRS offers faster data rates than GSM as well as always on Internet access.

Fastlink, Jordan’s largest mobile phone network, has announced the commercial launch of its General Packet Radio Service.

The nationwide launch comes less than six months after the announcement of Fastlink’s first successful GPRS call.

Fastlink GPRS customers will be charged dependant on the amount of data sent and received rather than time online, and GPRS handsets with always on internet will be available in Fastlink shops throughout the country. To encourage take up, GPRS services will be free until February 15.

The main advantage of GPRS over WAP is the speed of data transmission. “While the regular GSM data transfer rate is 9.6 Kbps, the GPRS we are launching currently provides a speed of up to 44 Kbps, and in the future the speed will be even higher reaching more than 170Kbps,” said Samer Bazyan, Data Group Manager at Fastlink.
“The subscriber would not have to dial in to a special server or their internet provider – the net will always be there. It is akin to having a leased line versus a dial-up connection at home.” added Bazyan. “GPRS technology is expected to encourage computer-phobic people onto the internet.

“Over the next few months a variety of services will be introduced to reflect the increased capabilities offered by GPRS technology. Our customers will now be able to use their mobile devices in new ways, for more services than ever before,” he said.

Michael Dagher, president and CEO of Fastlink, said that Fastlink has always been at the forefront of Jordanian mobile telecommunications. “Fastlink has always been a trailblazer in the Jordanian communications market, developing and implementing state-of-the-art technologies. It heartens me to say that many in Jordan first discovered the possibilities of the information revolution from the tiny displays of their cell phones. The commercial rollout of our GPRS services today takes us a step close to realizing His Majesty's vision of transforming Jordan into an IT hub for the region, and it is my pleasure to bring to the Jordanian public 2.5 technology and make it available to all Fastlink clients every where in the country,
“Fastlink wants to provide its subscribers with more opportunities. GPRS will change the way we communicate using data. Today and tomorrow Fastlink subscribers are assured of the highest technological services which make communication a better experience for all.”

Rival Mobilecom already has its network in place and expects to announce the commercial launch in the coming weeks.

"MobileCom's advanced network is GPRS-ready today and we will be launching a host of services across the Kingdom in the beginning of 2002, ensuring that we deliver useful services that benefit our customers and meet the requirements of the local market," said Erick Valette, chief marketing officer at MobileCom.

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