Mobile Broadband

COSMOTE, the mobile arm of OTE, has launched a broadband connect card. Although connect cards are not a new concept for Greece, earlier versions have used GPRS and are not always reliable or fast. Cosmote's effort is the first in Greece to use broadband and among the first in Europe to do so. However, readers across Greece should not get too excited - at present it is only in Attica and Thessaloniki. The new Wireless Connect Card Broadband "enables customers to enjoy the fast rates offered by HSDPA technology, providing easily and simply high-speed internet access, E-mail, intranet and corporate applications", officials ,said on July 27. It targets laptop users who travel frequently and wish to have a wireless high-speed internet, E-mail and corporate network access.

Cosmote has upgraded its 3G network to use the technology which "offers maximum downlink data transfer rates of up to 1.8 Mbps, with maximum observed rates of 1.5 Mbps; up to 4 times faster than data transfer through the 3G network (up to 384 Kbps)," the company added

Cosmote customers subscribing to one of the company's Data Packs until July 31 will enjoy the first two months free of monthly fees. The firm plans to develop and extend its network across Greece, for all its customers, it stressed.

Meanwhile, the National Technical University of Athens has introduced free wireless internet in Syntagama Square. This allows all those who wish to connect via laptops, or mobiles to the Net without cost. Syntagama is one of the few squares in Europe to offer a free internet service. Funding for the Uni's initiative has come from the Business Plan of Greece's Information Society.

At a recent promotion for OTE's broadband roadshow - a traveling unit aimed to increase ADSL takeup - executives confirmed that OTE will only introduce wireless in remote areas of Greece where traditional means are impractical. Until laptops come down in price ADSL takeup in Greece is likely to remain low, say observers.

Elaine Green

(Posting date 7 July 2006)

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