Customers Will Benefit From Faster Connectivity, Improved Access And Increased Convenience


24 October 2000, Singapore -- StarHub continues to innovate and lead Singapore into the future of mobile info-communications services with yet another first - the launch of the first GPRS (General Radio Packet Service) customer trial in Singapore. The trial will begin tomorrow, 25 October.


GPRS or 2.5G (2.5 Generation) technology is a natural next step towards eventually offering 3G (3rd Generation) services that will offer consumers a world of wireless solutions and applications at higher speeds. With GPRS based services, Singaporeans will experience for the first time, the advantages of faster connections to WAP services through "always on" packet based wireless technology. This differs from the circuit switched wireless technology used today, which requires customers to dial into WAP services.


The launch of the GPRS trial comes soon after StarHub's recent announcement of an additional $100 million investment by year-end to enhance coverage and capacity for its GSM network.


Said Mr Wee Way Kiat, General Manager, Mobility, StarHub, "We are pressing forward by moving our customers beyond voice. GPRS will offer our customers the ability to be on-line all the time but pay only when actually using applications. The implementation of the GPRS service is our commitment to ensure that our customers are kept in the forefront of the Mobile Internet world of the future."


" Nokia commends StarHub on its pioneering spirit in being the first to launch a GPRS customer trial and we are delighted to be StarHub's GPRS system provider for this project. This initiative underscores StarHub's drive towards ultimately bringing 3rd generation services to the Singapore market," said Mr Dean Brookes, Nokia's Account General Manager for StarHub.


The trialists will be the first in Singapore to experience WAP on GPRS. For a start, they would be able to access all of the current WAP iPower applications like personal information management tools, news, e-commerce services, and lifestyle and entertainment contents. StarHub would also be introducing a new range of applications for the corporate market like access to corporate email and Intranets via WAP on GPRS soon.


"GPRS allows our customers to have faster access to leading edge applications requiring larger amounts of bandwidth, that will assist them to better utilise their time while on the move, " added Mr Wee. "StarHub's GPRS service will be launched commercially, soon after the trial."


The GPRS system that Nokia has provided to StarHub includes the Nokia SGSN (servicing GPRS Support Node), Nokia GGSN (Gateway GPRS Support Node), the Nokia CG (Charging Gateway), Nokia Border Gateway and necessary IP backbone elements. GPRS/WAP-enabled handsets will be commercially available in 2001.