STAMFORD, Conn. -- Despite the promises of general packet radio service (GPRS) offerings in GSM cellular networks, the technology will fail to meet the revenue expectations of mobile operators, according to a new report from Gartner Inc. here today.
GPRS--which promises to deliver higher-speed data in mobile networks--will prove to be a great technological disappointment until capacity, device and application challenges are overcome, according to the report.
Operators' GPRS revenue goals worldwide are set to exceed $2.5 billion for 2002, and to total more than $32 billion annually by 2005, according to the Stamford-based research firm. But Gartner expects the more-aggressive rollouts to miss expectations by up to 50% in Europe--and by up to 40% in other regions--during the 2002-to-2005 time period.
Gartner said that operators must further build out their GPRS networks to provide adequate service and coverage for consumer applications. It forecasts that an additional $6 billion to $9 billion in infrastructure investments will be necessary by 2005 to support GPRS. These investments are in addition to the $113 billion that operators have already planned for GPRS voice and data rollouts worldwide.
"GPRS will have niche success stories as a technology for B2E applications," said Bill Clark, research director for Gartner's networking group. "Businesses will find that GPRS will be most appropriate for applications requiring short, bursty transactions, where time-critical information is a key factor," he said.
"In the end, GPRS and other 2.5G data services will succeed only after considerable experimentation with new applications," said Clark. "We expect GPRS to break even in the 2009-to-2011 time frame, long after future wireless services such as 3G are due to be deployed."