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For cellular operators, upgrading networks to some architecture that can handle packet-based applications means investments but also several commercial opportunities. 

Operators face the difficult question of network choices in the next couple of years. Some form of packet networking capability is needed in advance of the third generation, but there seems to be no agreement within the players in the operating business, how and when the infrastructure investment should take place. In addition, the target market and the potential user groups of the new services enabled by packet-switched networks are not clear. One view is that investing in GPRS will help operators learn about new applications, services and user requirements for the third-generation as well as accommodate users to the coming new services. 

The implementation of GPRS requires changes in the operators' network equipment in the base stations and base station controllers. It means making modifications to the core network: new routers need to be added so that traffic can be passed efficiently and the radio network needs to be modified in a way that it works both in a packet-oriented and circuit-oriented way. Good news for the operators is that GPRS is being designed to work within the existing GSM infrastructure. It means that GPRS coverage can be introduced quickly. GSM is the most advanced cellular system for the implementation of packet switched data transmission. 

GPRS will permit more efficient use of the network than circuit radio data, since packet architecture offers higher speeds and better use of the radio resource. It also gives a chance for operators to try new charging methods, that is, charging by data volume instead of duration, which may lead to offering lower tariffs for users. 

Terminal Vendors
For the terminal vendors, adoption of GPRS means upgrading the terminals for meeting the requirements of packet-based networks and a large variety of applications. Different terminal types will be required as the applications mix develops. Terminals are becoming more complex and the variety of them is increasing. 

Software Vendors
Software vendors also encounter changes with the introduction of packet-based networks. It may be assessed that users do not want additional complexity in order to run wireless data applications but they want seamless integration. Software vendors need to ensure compatibility between the cellular data and PC desktop environment. 
Content Providers
The importance of content providers in the market will increase when more and more applications are available over cellular networks. When providing content through the mobile channel, the appropriateness of the content needs to be carefully planned. It will probably take time to determine what content works well in mobile networks and what are the user preferences. 

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Sivua on viimeksi päivitetty 27.11.1998 11:55.
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