Mobile operator unveils surfing technology

March 9, 2006

Partner Communications on Wednesday rolled out 3.5-generation HSDPA technology to make Internet surfing from cellular phones easier.

Israeli customers of the Orange mobile operator in the center of the country will have the first opportunity to try out the technology in this soft launch, according to a report in the Israeli business magazine TheMarker.

The move to 3.5G means downloading speed is triple, to about 1.21 megabits per second, which in turn halves response time and doubles network capacity, the magazine said. The upgrades mean cellular Internet can compete with computer-based Web surfing for the first time.

The company has already sold several hundred modem cards for phones to business customers, the report said, and the service is live in two areas in the central region, with plans to have coverage in the entire center, including Tel Aviv, by the end of the third quarter of 2006.

By the end of the year the company plans to make the Web-surfing technology available in other parts of the country as well, the magazine said.

Partner is only the eighth company in the world to upgrade to 3.5-G and the first in Israel, according to the report. The mobile operator already only sells cards compatible with the new system, so users' upgrades will be minimal, the magazine said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International