Dell rolls out GPRS notebooks across Europe

Road Warrior survival kit

Dell is making it easier for road warriors to obtain high speed Internet access by outfitting its notebooks with a GPRS connectivity package.

The Dell TrueMobile GPRS package offers 'anytime, anywhere' wireless mobility to business users through a pre-configured, built-to-order notebook that includes the Dell TrueMobile 5000 GPRS PC card, all software and drivers, and a pre-installed SIM card from BT Cellnet.

The bundle is offered to businesses in the UK from March and rolled out across Europe throughout 2002 (at which point roaming will be possible).

The corporate package comes with a hefty price tag. Apart from setting up a leased line from corporate LANs to GPRS networks, the system involves installing optimisation software from Broadcloud Communications in order to maximise the efficiency of always-on GPRS connections.

Together these might cost around £8,000 for a typical installation. On the client side, the GPRS PC cards will each cost £249.

Pricing for GPRS services is based on MB of data transferred, with Dell and BT Cellnet offering two plans at launch: 20 MB/month for £30.00 and 50MB/month for £50.00. Data usage exceeding these monthly limits will incur additional charges of £1.50 and £1.00 per MB respectively. An additional supplement of £3.50 per month for GPRS services, and a one-time connection charge of £29.79 will also apply.

For smaller businesses, Dell is partnering with One2One rather than BT Cellnet in creating a package which omits the requirement to establish a leased line or install server-side optimisation software. The performance and security of this package would be lower, but set-up costs are much reduced for firms that pick this option. ®

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