Ericsson Press Releases

Ericsson unveils the first GPRS phone with Bluetooth™ – the R520

Monday, June 5, 2000

– One of three world premiers in Singapore

Today, at CommunicAsia in Singapore, Ericsson unveiled the first GPRS phone with Bluetooth, the triple band R520.

A world premier, the R520 is the first step toward more advanced mobile Internet applications, featuring GPRS, High Speed Data (HSCSD), Bluetooth™ wireless technology and WAP.

Besides maximum speed levels, the R520 also offers complete wireless connectivity with a built-in Bluetooth chip, removing requirements for cables between the phone and other mobile devices, such as PCs and handsfree devices.

The R520 is one of three products Ericsson presents in Singapore, all based on the company’s leading technologies in wireless communications.

“Unveiling the first GPRS mobile phone puts us in the leading position in mobile handsets and together with our number one position in mobile telecommunications infrastructure, in a unique position as an end-to-end supplier,” says Jan Ahrenbring, Vice President Marketing and Communications at Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. “These are the key factors for winning further GPRS contracts and for selling systems and handsets for 3G.”

“With over 50 percent of the GPRS systems market, Ericsson is the world leader,” continues Ahrenbring. “We have 41 commercial agreements on commercial GPRS systems and have delivered 44 test systems to leading operators around the world. Our new GPRS phone opens a new chapter for consumers, allowing packet data to be transmitted five times the speed than regular GSM, and adds a new dimension of convenience for the user.”

The R520 features a WAP browser, making it Ericsson’s sixth WAP handset. WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is a technology designed to bring Internet content to users of wireless devices. GPRS will make mobile Internet cheaper, faster and more user-friendly than ever before.

General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) and High Speed Data makes it possible for the consumer to send and receive data much faster than what has been possible over regular GSM. GPRS also enables the consumer to always be on-line, ensuring the R520 to keep the consumer continuously connected to mobile Internet services. Additionally, the phone also supports High Speed Data (HSCSD) which gives an extra option for fast speed transmission of data.

Besides maximum speed levels the R520 also offers complete wireless connectivity with the built-in Bluetooth chip. For instance the R520 can be used together with the Bluetooth Headset from Ericsson, or be connected to a PC with the Ericsson Bluetooth PC Card.

Together with this cut-edge technology, Ericsson provides operators with end-to-end GPRS infrastructure solutions, ensuring that GPRS will be implemented in GSM networks toward the end of 2000. At CommunicAsia, Ericsson is demonstrating live mobile Internet applications over an end-to-end GPRS network using the new R520. Ericsson currently has introduced GPRS services for GSM 900/1800/1900 networks. Operators, who have bought Ericsson’s GPRS solution, have close to 95 million subscribers in their networks.

The R520 will be tested by operators and service providers during Q3 and Q4 2000, it will be available in limited volumes during Q4 2000 and in commercial volumes during Q1 2001.

The R520 supports GSM 900/1800/1900 frequencies, allowing communication with one phone throughout 120 countries in five continents.

Other technical details

GPRS is a common step for GSM and TDMA (GPRS/EDGE) to handle higher data speeds and the transition to 3G. With GPRS, packet switched data transmission is added to the traditional circuit switched transport on a regular GSM network. Data is broken into packets instead of sent as a steady stream. As a result, the mobile device user remains “virtually” connected to the server, using airtime only when data is actually being sent. GPRS thereby optimises air time usage (and possibly associated connection costs) as well as power consumption. Being connected to the Mobile Internet does not interfere with receiving a phone call, as the data session may be put on hold while the call is answered.

The e-mail functionality in the R520 supports most e-mail services allowing you to stay in touch irrespective of location. There is also a calendar with different views; month, week, day and a “tasks” list. Automatic synchronization with a PC via WAP/Internet, Bluetooth, infrared technology or cable is possible.

R520 features a loudspeaker, which gives it speakerphone functionality, and a proximity switch; by simply putting the phone to ones ear, the phone switches from speakerphone mode to regular mode.

It also features numerous other functions that make it a highly effective communication tool such as hierarchical phone book with up to 511 contacts and predictive text input.

Instead of having to press keys several times for a letter, software in the R520 chooses from a dictionary of words and phrases and anticipates what word or phrase you are writing.

By just saying a “magic word” the enhanced voice recognition makes it possible to “wake up” the R520 from standby mode, making it receptive to voice commands. In this way, there’s no need to press any buttons on the phone, making it easy and safe to use even while driving a car.

Two versions of the R520 will be produced. The R520m, and the R520mc which features a complete Chinese interface that is easy to learn and easy to use. This unique feature allows you to send and receive Chinese SMS messages and also lets you store Chinese names in the Phone Book.

Measuring 130x50x16mm and weighing just 105 grams, the R520 offers talk time of up to 7 hours and 35 minutes and a standby time of up to 200 hours (approximately 8 days). The R520 is being shown in a sporty copper color.