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Orange to launch flat rate GPRS mobile Internet access

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Orange is to launch a flat-rate mobile Internet service in France this Friday.

It's hoped the service, which will cost €6 a month on launch, will be extended across Europe by the end of the summer.

The service, the launch of which has been timed to coincide with the start of France's defence of the World Cup, will be available to customers with either General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) or WAP handsets.

GPRS services are normally charged by the amount of data downloaded, but Orange feels it can demystify the technology by making the service available with a pricing model users will find easier to understand.

Initially the service will offer unlimited access to Web sites, for an introductory period until September, when a 10MB cap will be put on the service.

To promote the service, Orange will launch a series of ads featuring World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane.

Unlike the talented midfielder (who is doubtful for France's opening games following a suspected thigh muscle tear), let's hope the service is available for the start of the tournament... ®

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