Mobile phone giants Ericsson and Orange (quote: ORA) have signed a deal worth £37m to supply GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) communications to the UK.
According to a statement from Ericsson, the packet-based network will be implemented at the end of this year.
GPRS, the next generation of mobile communications, will provide high bandwidth Internet connectivity to mobile devices. The network will enable much higher quality WAP browsing, for example, with the introduction of colour, graphics and considerably faster connectivity.
Telecommunications companies are currently bidding for the right to supply Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) or "third-generation" (3G) networks, which will offer even faster mobile Internet access across Britain. GPRS is, in effect, a stepping stone to this future technology.
"This very significant order adds Orange to a growing list of network operators from around the world to whom we are providing the advanced digital networks that are moving the world towards a third-generation (3G) communications environment," said Bo Bergström, executive vice president of Ericsson Radio Systems.
"3G will give users a completely new lifestyle, providing opportunities for many exciting new business and leisure services not previously possible," he said.