Handspring releases GPRS update in Canada


Handspring has announced the availability of its GPRS update for Treo 180 users on the Rogers AT&T network in Canada.

The free software upgrade adds GPRS packet-data compatibility to the Treo 180 Palm OS communicator, enabling users to maintain an ‘always-on’ connection to wireless internet services. Handspring has been promising the update for some time and has recently started to make it available through selected network partners after extensive internal testing. Users of the new software have reported that it transforms the capabilities of the Treo, simplifying e-mail access and enabling simultaneous voice and data transmission.

“The arrival of the GPRS software upgrade is very important to our Treo 180 customers who clearly understand the benefits of having an all-in-one voice and data wireless device,” said Mansell Nelson, Vice President and General Manager, Interactive Mobile Services, Rogers AT&T Wireless. “Rogers AT&T Wireless customers will also enjoy anytime, anywhere wireless access to the Internet and e-mail while making and receiving wireless phone calls and sending two-way text messages on their Treo 180. This is made possible because of the Rogers AT&T Wireless GSM/GPRS network – the country’s largest, integrated voice and data, digital wireless network and the world standard for wireless communications.” Joe Sipher, Vice President of Product Marketing for Handspring, Inc., added: “We are pleased to offer Rogers AT&T Wireless customers the ability to access wireless information on their Treo 180 across Canada on the extensive Rogers AT&T Wireless GSM/GPRS network. With applications such as Treo Mail and the Blazer web browser, we are committed to offering new wireless services and added features to Rogers AT&T Wireless customers now and in the future.”

Insight

The GPRS update for Handspring’s Treo has been some time coming, but it would appear it has been worth the wait. Handspring is gradually dissemenating the software update to customers and feedback from the first users in Singapore has been overwhelmingly positive. The Treo, with its integrated voice and data capabilities, is clearly going to benefit from an ‘always-on’ packet-data connection.

It is important that Handspring quickly integrates this update into the standard shipping models if it is to compete against the forthcoming wave of smartphones from industry heavyweights Nokia, SonyEricsson, Motorola et al. A Treo with 2.5G wireless data capabilities is a compelling proposition for carriers and is certain to increase ARPUs by attracting high spending business users and convincing existing subscribers to use more data bandwidth and voice minutes.


Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.
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