I have a GPRS handset, now how do I connect to the Net?

Simply plug your cell phone into your home PC, Laptop, or PDA. You don't need to dial up, and you can be online wherever you go. To plug in the cell phone, you need a mobile phone to laptop/PC data cable. This component is available at your mobile phone dealer. You will also require the mobile messaging software (it comes with your data cable). You then connect the data cable to the communication port of your computer known as the RS 232 connector.

And all this while, I thought GPRS was a device that helped you zero in on geographical positions!

Well, the device you have in mind is a GPS (Global Positioning System); not to be confused with GPRS.
Are the speeds any good? Or will I have to wait ages to receive pages?

Theoretically, the maximum speed obtainable is 171.2 Kbps. "This is about three times as fast as the data transmission speeds possible over today's fixed telecommunications networks and ten times as fast as current Circuit Switched Data services on GSM networks," says Mobile GPRS. But practically speaking, how fast GPRS is will depend on the number of people who are simultaneously using the mobile network, and also on the quality of coverage.

As this write-up points out, if a user had the timeslots to himself, he could even get 38.4 Kbps when receiving data. But that isn't realistically possible. A BPL Mobile helpline operator cited speeds between 17 and 20 Kbps.

How much will the service cost?

That depends on your service provider. BPL offers GPRS at Rs 750 per month.

What would specialised GPRS equipment look like?

GSM World asked a number of leading wireless manufacturers to showcase their images of how the GPRS phone, handset, terminals or device of the near future might look. Click on the camera icons in order to see them.

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