GSM Congress in Cannes: WAP for all!

Posté ven 23/03/2001 - 00:00
Par admin

As at Telecom Geneva last year, there was a sole slogan at a mobile phone Fair which welcomed more than 10 000 visitors: Internet and the mobility.

Incredible! The GSM Congress in Cannes which took place at the Palais des Festivals from last February 2nd to 4th gathered more than 10 000 contributors. The stalls were covering the overall of the exhibition space of the Palais, extension (the new Riviera space) included. The biggest actors of the mobile telecommunication sector were there. Enormous groups who are set up in the Alpes-Maritimes for most of them, between Cannes (Alcatel) and the coast (IBM, Texas Instruments) and more particularly at Sophia Antipolis (Nortel, Lucent Technologies, Infineon, Sema Group, Conexant, Philips semiconductors, etc).WAP: the mobile opened to the InternetThis small congress (less than 2 000 contributors four or five years ago) confirmed the trends which appeared at Telecom Geneva, an event which only takes place every four years, contrary to the GSM in Cannes. The star is now the mobility associated with the Internet. Besides, Alcatel completed a roaring success for the WAP (Wireless Application Protocole), a standard which enables to display the information from the Internet's network on the mobile phone's screen.But do we have to rush on the web now? What is the current situation of the market of the Internet and the mobility, for which Europeans are in advance in comparison with Americans, for once? The answer is given by Isabelle Morison, SFR's marketing manager, Cegetel's mobile operator, which hopes to be the first to offer a complete range of Internet services (Nokia has already a model, the 7100 which uses the WAP form whereas Ericcson, its Swedish competitor prepares an Internet portal for mobiles). First, we will market an application 'surf on Internet' in June 2000, which will be really launched in September. It will be a WAP service provided by the company I-Medi@'.From June, SFR will make a GPRS offer'This service will be launched together with a GRPS offer, a technique which enables to provide a highest data transfer speed before getting the UTMS standard in 2002-2003, which will be the standard of the third generation mobiles. You have to know that at the moment, the GSM offers a data transfer speed of a bit more than 9 kilobits per second. This is what you had six or seven years ago with modems which now work with 56 kilobits. Our GRPS offer will make it possible, with the mobile phone, to get data transfer rates of 40 kilobits downstream and of 13 kilobits upstream''Then, the UTMS will make it possible to get highest data transfer rates from 2 or 3 Mo/s. However, the network will have to be entirely re-built and the national coverage won't be provided immediately. However, with the GPRS, it will be possible to use the current network, with a few developments, which will enable to have a fast national coverage.'A new rate fixing'The rate fixing will also change with the WAP. At the moment, it is based on the connection time. Internet, being a mode of transport of package data, we will test a new billing, which should be more profitable to customers who will only pay what they consume. And then? We will have to wait for mobiles on which data can be recorded. It is now possible to imagine, for example, to download on Internet the last track of a CD, paying with a credit card inserted in your mobile and to use your phone as a MP3 player.'In the mobile sector too, imagination is now the trend. It can offer so many new services. It has a fabulous potential which explains the big operations in this sector nowadays, particularly the ones which started between Vodaphone, Mannesmann and Vivendi, which were animating a bit more the effervescent GSM Congress in Cannes...

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