High costs hit GPRS use

GPRS mobile technology is too expensive for many businesses despite the clear productivity advantages it can offer, the CMA...

GPRS mobile technology is too expensive for many businesses despite the clear productivity advantages it can offer, the CMA Conference heard.

Ovum lead enterprise analyst Chris Lewis said there were examples where companies had chosen to curtail the use of 2.5G mobile data technologies after discovering the cost was too high.

Lewis said Unilever had recently decided to turn off the GPRS capabilities of its corporate mobile phones after receiving "unexpectedly high bills".

Lewis said, "Cisco has mandated that its staff must first try to communicate with soft IP phones on laptops before using the more expensive mobile technology."

Lewis revealed that Ovum, which had originally supplied its staff with GPRS data cards, was now in the process of withdrawing them because of their high cost.

He said, "Although it can be convenient to slot in a GPRS data card, it is often much cheaper to take a bit longer and find a wireless hotspot to connect to the office when working remotely."

There is also confusion about the cost of GPRS, the conference heard. Inclusive megabyte pricing is the most common tariff structure used by 83 mobile operators across 31 countries, according to a survey by business consultancy BroadGroup.

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