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Microcell First to Deliver Commercial Availability of 2.5G Wireless Data Services Across Canada and the USA

Microcell PCS today announced that Microcell Connexions Inc. has completed its 2.5G General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) wireless data implementation on its network across Canada. Accomplished one month ahead of schedule, the launch rolls out over Microcell’s complete network, covering the majority of the Canadian population, and reaching all users of the Microcell network coast to coast. This accomplishment represents an important step in Microcell’s drive to deliver innovative data services to travellers and mobile professionals.

“Users of the Microcell network will be the first to benefit from the ‘one network, one world’ power of a combined GSM voice and GPRS data service,” said Mr. Alain Rhéaume, President and Chief Executive Officer of Microcell PCS. “A number of service providers, including of course Fido, using the Microcell network will soon introduce GPRS-based services to their customers.”

“Microcell Connexions is helping Canada to be one of the first markets in the world to offer widespread network GPRS coverage,” said Mr. Rajiv Pancholy, President and Chief Operating Officer of Microcell Connexions. “We believe users of new high-speed data services will expect these services to travel with them. More than 45 million cross-border trips are made between Canada and the United States each year, and many of those trips are being made by business travellers. With GPRS, users of the Microcell network can immediately move into the express lane of mobile connectivity.”

“We have been successful in our carrier interoperability testing GPRS with VoiceStream Wireless,” explained Mr. Alex Brisbourne, Vice-President and General Manager, Business Development, Microcell Connexions. “Now, this means that Canadians travelling to over 4,000 cities in North America can have the benefit of data connectivity without the hassles of calling cards and special cables. What’s more, customers are telling us they want to pay for what they use, not for where they use it. With GPRS, we’re delivering that now.”

Microcell’s wireless network is based on the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) digital protocol—the most widely deployed wireless standard in the world. GPRS is a new wireless technology standard that supports fast point-to-point communication through devices that enable an “always on” Internet connection. An over-the-air system for transmitting data on GSM networks, GPRS technology converts wireless data into standard Internet packets, enabling interoperability between the Internet and Microcell’s GSM network.

The GPRS method of transporting data optimizes network capacity by using bandwidth only when it is needed. In addition, several data transmissions from different users can share the same channel. The end result is next-generation technology that will allow end-users to cost-effectively remain connected constantly, and to send and receive data much faster.

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