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GPRS networks in UK and Northern Ireland …

One thing that strikes you when you investigate GPRS (which is basically the system for using the Internet on your mobile phone). The people in the mobile phone shops don’t understand the technology or its applications very well at all.

There are a lot of completely bizarre pricing plans (for example, Vodafone Ireland force you to buy their modem before they will allow you to use their only attractive GPRS pricing plan).

In general, the product is overpriced by a factor of two or three-fold in Ireland, although the sales staff are quite well informed. In the United Kingdom it is probably a little bit underpriced, but is not very well marketed or sold. (Many sales assistants know absolutely nothing about it and have no collateral information.)

The networks have invested a lot in getting GPRS up-and-running. Why don’t they find someone who knows what they’re talking about to help them sell it?

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  1. ’tis true… I recently went with my mother to help her sort a new phone out. Whilst we were there (carphonewarehouse) there was a customer next to us who was asking about data capable handsets and plans; whilst I knew nothing about the plans I was compelled to intervene about the devices themselves and put the guy straight after all the mis-information he had been given by the sales guy. The customer bought a data capable device and the salesman, who simply didn’t know the stuff he perhaps should (I don’t believe there was an intention to mislead), was very grateful for the info.

    I’ve often wondered how much of the mobile market today can be attributed to customers actively seeking data connected devices. I see a few people checking their email on the train every now and then, but it’s more common to get asked about it when I break out my laptop and check my mail using my bluetooth phone with gprs…

    I wonder if people need to find a need for this kind of service first rather than have it ‘sold’ to them? Maybe that’s why the retailers don’t feel the need to train staff in this subject?

  2. Why do you say (GPRS networks in UK and Northern Ireland)? Now I really am confused because I thought that Northern Ireland was part of the UK!
    but maybe you meant to say (GPRS networks in Britain and Northern Ireland)? in which case does that mean that GPRS prices are the same throughout the whole of the UK (including Northern Ireland)? or are GPRS networks in Northern Ireland priced differently to the Rest of the UK?

  3. you are indeed correct to say that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. You are correct to say that the price is the same in Great Britain and Northern Ireland (unless of course you roam onto a Republic of Ireland network on your travels).

  4. Thanks Antoin, and seeing as you agree with me then maybe you should change the top of this page to
    (GPRS in Britain & Northern Ireland) or just simply (GPRS in the UK) and I suggest this so as to save other people from confusion.