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BUSINESS DIARY

3G EDGE reaches Slovakia


MOBILE internet is becoming even more popular in Slovakia. Several years ago, people mostly used their phones for conversation and to send text messages. Over the past two years, however, the possibility of getting online through their mobile phone has lured more and more Slovaks.
The advantage of mobile connections is that you can log on any time and any place covered by an operator's signal. All you nee is the right phone and, to increase your comfort, a notebook computer often has a better screen than your telephone.

MOBILE internet is becoming even more popular in Slovakia. Several years ago, people mostly used their phones for conversation and to send text messages. Over the past two years, however, the possibility of getting online through their mobile phone has lured more and more Slovaks.

The advantage of mobile connections is that you can log on any time and any place covered by an operator's signal. All you nee is the right phone and, to increase your comfort, a notebook computer often has a better screen than your telephone.

In Slovakia you can hook up to the net through dial-up connections, the oldest of which are through CSD and HSCSD, while the pocket data transmission GPRS remains the most frequently used technology. Wi-Fi technology offers the fastest connection, but its disadvantage is weak HotSpot coverage. Nevertheless, more and more business customers rely on HotSpots, which are located at Bratislava's airport and most of the hotels catering to the business clientele.

The latest technology on the market is EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution), which enables high-speed data transmission, and is also referred to as the third generation network (3G).

EDGE makes data transmission five times faster than has been available up to now through GPRS technology. It not only speeds up internet connections, but also enhances access to WAP pages and sending and receiving MMS messages.

The first EDGE was launched in the USA. Since then, 19 operators in 16 countries in the world have launched the technology.

After Hungary, Lithuania, Croatia, and Italy, Slovakia has become the fifth European country where people can access this technology.

"The development shows that many operators will start running EDGE networks even before launching UMTS. EDGE has similar functions as UMTS. Technologies keep improving and I am glad that it was EuroTel who brought the service to Slovakia for our customers," said Robert Chvátal, CEO of EuroTel.

Now Slovak customers can listen to internet radio stations at high quality, and even download large files such as videos, MP3s, presentations, projects, and the like.

High-speed mobile data transmissions through EuroTel's SuperSpeed, the company's product name for EDGE, are automatically available to all customers with monthly service packages using the company's services.

High-speed mobile data connection through the SuperSpeed service can only be used with a mobile telephone supporting EDGE.

At the moment, two such mobile telephones - Nokia 3200 (support for WAP, MMS, and email through SuperSpeed) and Nokia 6230 (full support for internet access through EDGE) - are on the market. The data transmission rate depends on the type of mobile telephone.

EuroTel's EDGE technology supports all available encoding schemes. That means that EuroTel provides data transmission speed at rates of up to 240 kilobits per second.

EuroTel also prepared a Data Explosion for its customers, with new tariffs and prices for data programmes that will make the company's data packages even more affordable.

In addition, a new Data Start rate plan was added to the existing Data Basic, Data Standard, and Data Nonstop rate plans.

All data services automatically support connections through the SuperSpeed service. Another novelty is the reduction of the billing interval to one kiloByte for internet and WAP connections.

"The unlimited use of mobile internet now costs a mere Sk990 (€25) a month, and is very user friendly," added Chvátal.


Prepared by Spectator staff

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