BT Cellnet has launched its high-speed wireless data service - but coverage is patchy and major customers have no plans to use the network for several weeks.
The general packet radio service (GPRS) service will enable users to download information at speeds of 27Kbps. Existing GSM phones offer speeds of 9.6Kbps.
The GPRS service is available for corporate customers in "the south of England", according to BT Cellnet. But this doesn't include London. However, there will be coverage on the outskirts of Birmingham in time for the Networks Telecom 2000 show.
BT's corporate GPRS applications will provide business users with so-called 'always on' access to intranet services, such as e-mail and calenders, using a portable computer with a mobile phone. All equipment, including the GPRS-enabled Motorola Timeport handset, is now available.
BT said it has received a lot of interest about the service and a number of orders are currently "being processed".
Analysts have welcomed the move by BT to offer GPRS services to the corporate market but remain cautious over the technology's capabilities.
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