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GRX: International GPRS Roaming
Posted by Arne Hess - on Saturday, 03.05.03 - 13:32:49 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 8263x
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As you can imagine, I'm "not traveling" to any countries where no GPRS International Roaming is available as I would be disconnected then... ;-) Kidding but for sure I prefer if I have the option to get GPRS network access. So I've recently checked the GPRS Roaming page of my provider - O2 Germany and it's amazing to see how GRX (GPRS Roaming Exchange) increased during the past months. When I checked it last time in February, it wasn't half of this!

Overall, I can use my cell phone for voice more or less across the whole globe:

There are not too many white areas without coverage anymore - fantastic. However, most of this countries haven't GRX in place today but the list of available partners is amazing anyway today. I can use my O2 SIM card for GPRS in the following countries now:

Finland (Sonera), France (Orange), UK (O2 - UK), Hong Kong (CSL Hong Kong Telecom), Ireland (East Digifone), Italy (TIM), Monaco (Orange), Netherlands (O2 - NL), Norway (Telenor Mobil AS), Austria (Connect Austria), Philippines (Smartcom), Poland (Erra GSM Polska), Russia (KBImpuls), San Marino (TIM), Switzerland (Sunrise), Singapore (MobileOne and Sing Tel), Spain (Telefonica), Turkey (IS TIM), USA (AT&T Wireless) and Vatican City (TIM).

That's almost 20 countries with GRX support now - woohoo... :D At least he most interesting countries are covered for me now like more or less whole Western Europe as well as my favorite countries USA, Hong Kong and Philippines.

While GPRS itself is still too expensive at home it's for sure even more expensive for International Roaming. However, O2 Germany also lowered the prices here up to 65 % which looks like this:

GPRS Internet at home within the O2 - DE network: 0,05 € per 10 KB.

Some international examples:

  • Orange France: 0,128 € per 10 KB
  • TIM Italy: 0,09 € per 10 KB
  • Telenor Norway: 0,09 € per 10
  • Smart Philippines: 0,204 € per 10 KB
  • CSL Hong Kong: 0,175 € per 10 KB
  • SingTel Singapore: 0,09 € per 10 KB

Well, that's not so bad at all. Again, I'm still not a big fan of GPRS tariffs as they are prohibitive expensive but compared to the home tariff, using GPRS internationally isn't that expensive anymore as it was before. That's a great development, I keep the fingers crossed that GRX expands as fast as voice roaming expanded that early days but also I hope to see lower GPRS prices in future. For my home network as well as for International Roaming.

What's your GRX experiences, does it worked for you and how expensive is International Roaming for you?

Cheers ~ Arne

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Posted by Helio Diamant on 04.05.03 - 06:14:33

It has worked for me for the first time in Switzerland. I have Orange in Israel, and was happy to see for the first time that I had a GPRS connection in Zurich to check my email.

Soon I will see how much I paid for that :-(

Posted by Arne Hess on 04.05.03 - 13:07:33

Oh yes, I know what you mean. I had the same experience when I was in  Norway and Switzerland last year. Both hadn't official (or announced) agreements with O2 but GRX worked - so I've used it for sure... big_smile

Well, the monthly bill was shocking 8O and "I was not amused"... ;-) Anyway, that's the price you/I have to pay for wireless freedom...

Posted by Wolfgang Irber on 08.05.03 - 22:37:38

Travelling on a regular basis I heavily miss GPRS everytime when it´s not available. XDA in combination with GPRS is extremely convenient to stay in touch with people. And... sending an email is cheaper than sending a SMS.

My personal experience, as long as I stick to email without attachments and to web sites in pda format, I almost never get over 3 MB per month (most of it in Germany, of course). Which is very affordable, in particular when taking the convenience into account. Even WAP is getting interesting! My personal favourite: Just perfect when picking up people from the airport and you want to be there in time!

Personally I think, it´s not the one killer application, it´s the summary of many well done websites and applications that make life much easier and justify all efforts in establishing wireless internet connection. It´s not a matter of bandwidth, it´s a matter of smartness and availability. And that´s what GPRS provides in these days. Of course, in combination with the right device.

I am really looking forward to see more GPRS networks to become available throughout the world. The sooner, the better.

Even my parther who hated the XDA right from the beginning (I paid to much attention to it) has now to admit that this kind of device is starting a new period of communication.

Cheers ... Wolfgang

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