The biggest UK wireless connectivity contract ever has been landed by network connectivity expert Grey Cell Systems which will supply British Gas Service field engineers with 6,000 GSM data cards to connect to the control centre.
Grey Cell's £470,000 deal will win it the number one position in the GSM data solutions market, and is a victory both for the technology and the UK, said Keith Marsden, managing director of the London-based firm.
"They're using it for a serious application here, in field service," said Marsden. "GSM is fairly young as a technology in terms of market penetration but it's used just about everywhere except the US."
Marsden said GSM has succeeded mobile radio and other technologies because the equipment tends to be cheaper to produce as the standards are not proprietary, and GSM also has international coverage. However, Marsden conceded that there are still wrinkles: "One of the problems with the technology at the moment is that mobile phones don't have a standard data interface, and that's complex for us."
British Gas will use 5000 Series GSM data cards along with Panasonic mobile phones, notebook computers and connection to the Vodafone network.
Grey Cell can be contacted by telephone on 0181-938 1000.