Your Office in your pocket

Read your e-mail or download files while on a park bench. Record a memo while in the checkout line at the grocery. Consult hundreds of contact numbers without the need for a book. Cheek news headlines or appointments or call your office from the USA so they’ll know you’ve landed safely. Listen to your favourite music, or even take and send pictures of your holiday trip. Believe it or not, to accomplish all of this, the only thing you’ll need is a pocket sized mobile handset. A GSM mobile handset working on a GSM/GPRS mobile network to be precise and TSTT has already begun construction of the first such state-of-the-au network in Caribbean.

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications. According to the GSM Association, of which TSTT is a member, over 175 countries use CSM networks and the number of CSM subscribers is close to 700 Million worldwide. This makes mobile communications and roaming among countries much easier to facilitate. GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) is one technology that is being deployed on the GSM network to enable wireless communications of Internet content, multi-media data and file transfers via mobile handsets and wireless communications devices. The particular appeal of GPRS is in its ability to bring the power of the Internet to the handset or the wireless communications device. The development of GPRS is the first and most significant step towards  implementing 3G (Third Generation) services for the mobile information society.

Michael Barrow, TSTT’s General Manager of Mobile Services is extremely excited about the TTS200M project. He said that the GSM / GPRS network will deliver exceptional value to customers.  “Not only will customers get state-of-the —art handsets, but the network will support the development of a variety of wireless data applications. Businesses can also use customised applications on the network to improve their marketing and customer relations strategies and bring the company, its customers and employees closer together.” Barrow added that “Trinidad and Tobago will he one step closer to the point where people will be able to shop, trade and work from a convenient location using handsets or wireless-enabled laptops and personal communications devices. In addition, TSTT’s  customers will be able to roam to almost any country in the world. TSTT also views the deployment of this technology as an opportunity for a variety of businesses to engage in partnerships with us in the delivery of enhanced wireless based services.”

International handset manufacturers Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson among others recently unveiled some of their newest lines of GSM/CPRS mobile handsets to TSTT . All of them feature Internet access capabilities varying from simple access to e-mail to more sophisticated handsets that could download and read Microsoft Office applications. The handsets also featured capacity for over 300 phone numbers and the capability to store 2 - 3 minutes of recorded conversation or oral memos.  Some handsets have electronic “wallets” built into them. These store credit and debit card data and can facilitate wireless purchasing and other financial transactions. 

While TSTT has yet to announce a launch date for the GSM/GPRS network, Barrow pointed out that “it’s a complex technology and we want to ensure that we not only meet but also exceed the expectations of our customers. We have already successfully completed local and international test calls and aim to have the service commercially available sometime during this year.”