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THOUGHT: How different GPRS experiences could be
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 08.04.03 - 12:30:21 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 5687x
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When I was in Paris last week, I've used for sure GPRS to get my E-Mails as well as surf the web and update PPCW.Net. While I did this via GRX (GPRS Roaming Exchange) with my German O2 SIM card the fist half of the week, I've used a French Orange SIM the second half of the week and it's amazing how difference this experience was. 8O

Normally you should think that a roaming SIM has more problems with GPRS but no, the GPRS access with the O2 card, attached to the Orange network, worked faster, more stable and better then the Orange SIM in the same network :!: :?:

While every GPRS dial-up with the O2 card was successful and I've reached speeds up to ~ 40 Kbit/s only half of the Orange dial-ups were successful or the GPRS connection takes 10 times longer to be in place.

That's an amazing experience and I haven't found an explanation for it so far. First I thought it was because too many people used GPRS on the same BTS but when I've used the O2 SIM it worked again - without problems. Then I thought the SPV might be faulty but when I changed the SIMs it worked brilliant again. :?:

So what's the point here? Is it because different SIM card manufactures? The O2 SIM is a Schlumberger while the Orange SIM was a Gemplus (both French SIM card manufactures and the largest and second largest SIM card manufactures of the world). It's the only reason I can find, especially when I've tried later the Orange card with my Option GlobeTrotter GPRS card; there it worked as I've expected it to work.

I mean it's frustrating for an end-user that a combination doesn't work, which is sold. I'm a GSM insider, working for 10 years in that industry now, I've worked for GSM carriers as well as for a SIM card manufacture and it always amazes me, how a technology like GSM, which is specified like nothing else, still seems not 100 % compatible. :o

Any thoughts from other GSM insiders what might go wrong here?

Cheers ~ Arne


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Posted by erwin on 15.04.03 - 04:25:42

i had a similiar experience lately with two telco in HK.

the connection and problems seems so random (it works this time, and then u try again immediately, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt..) that there seemed to be no logic behind it..

since i was using different apps (email imap and smtp, syncml, http..) i thought it might have to do with the APN setting.  but again, there seemed no logic.  when i change the card. it works.

since i am on a P800, i also tried going through the PC Proxy.  and it always works fine.

so my thinking is that it has to do with the GPRS network setting.  but supposedly, when i works, it should just continue working... simple logic.

ends up, i found out that (through insider track and checking my GPRS log with the telco) there are different servers on the GPRS gateway, and there are chances that the settings are not exactly the same (esp when they are from different vendors)

and the "Working" times are just purely because i happen to use the "right" gateway..  yak!!@!

it really shows the rough edges of these implementations. 

i guess there just isnt enough usage to push them to debug the whole setup.

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