Motorola Timeport P7389i and Telstra MobileNet GPRS

Many of us are familiar with the WAP (wireless application protocol) feature incorporated into a number of recent mobile phones, which makes them capable of exchanging e-mail and visiting some Internet sites. WAP has many limitations, chief among them being that it can use only those small parts of the Internet specifically designed for this protocol.

GPRS is a packet-switched technology, similar to the Internet itself. This means that data transfers are broken up into many small sections, called packets, which each bear an address and wind their way independently to their destination, where they are reassembled. This system is much more efficient than WAP, in which each Internet connection requires a dedicated line that is denied to other users, even when no data is moving on it. Since it can only use one line, WAP is restricted to a maximum speed of 9.6Kbps.

By using multiple packets and sharing multiple lines, GPRS technology can overcome these limitations and allow more users to move more data more quickly. It also enables true Internet data transfer that isn't just limited to WAP services. Telstra says this service will enable users to receive data at up to 40Kbps, and send it at up to 20Kbps by the end of the year.

The Motorola Timeport P7389i is one of the first phones in Australia to use this new service. It's a fairly conventional looking piece of gear, the important differences being inside. It's capable of browsing WAP Web sites, which have been specially designed to be legible on the tiny screens of mobile phones. It can send and receive e-mail, exchange text by SMS (short message service), access chat zones and, of course, make phone calls.

In use, GPRS proved fairly reliable in the Sydney metropolitan area, more so than the WAP phone tested a few months earlier. This is probably due to the improved technology of GPRS, though it's difficult to be sure because of differences in the phones. There was one minor but persistent bug: at the beginning of about half of the GPRS data sessions, the phone would immediately display a "busy" error message, yet would connect on the second attempt. Given the way GPRS works and the small number of users, this shouldn't happen. However, once established, the GPRS connection worked in areas where the older WAP system had dropped out.

One of the coolest things about GPRS is the potential to use a mobile phone as a portable modem for your laptop or PDA, giving you the ability to use the Internet on the move. Motorola provides GPRS Wizard software for this purpose.

Overall, this system shows considerable promise, but like all new technologies, it still has some minor bugs - which probably won't take long to iron out.

Telstra MobileNet GPRS

Price: 22cents per session plus 2.2cents per kilobyte, 50 per cent discount above 200KBPhone: 13 1800; URL:

Motorola Timeport P7389i

Price: $649; Phone: 1800 667 788; URL:

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Aldis Ozols

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?