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Orange unveil 2.5G mobile services

Mobile operator unveils video phone and HSCSD modem

Orange has unveiled the UK’s first mobile video phone and high speed PC card modem for notebooks and mobile phones.

The PC card uses the latest mobile communication technology, HSCSD (High speed circuit switched data), which allows mobile data to be transmitted at up to 28.8Kbps - about half the speed of an average PC modem.

It is manufactured by Nokia and costs £299. In addition to the cost of the product, users will pay £5 per month to use the service. Orange also plan to launch GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) services towards the end of the year.

Orange also launched its Videophone. It is expected to be available before Christmas, but in limited numbers and will cost between £1000 and £1500. A discount will be available if two are bought at the same time. At present the phones will only communicate with other Orange videophones.

Adrian Dodd, marketing manager for Orange admitted that the phone was a niche product. However he added that the product would be particularly attractive to emergency services or businesses requiring mobile video conferencing.

Dodd added that he believed video phones would become the standard in the future: “One day children will find it hard to believe we once only had audio phones.”

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