Private Mobile Networks, a pioneer of low-power GSM services in the UK, has added GPRS and EDGE data, and believes it may have found a market in the US as well.
The service - already in trials on the Isle of Man, issues users with a SIM card that allows roaming between the mobile network and indoor low-power GSM stations made by IP.access, which connect to a PMN-supplied private mobile exchange (PMX) that connects calls on to the company PBX - or to an IP PBX, which routes calls over the Internet.
“The inclusion of GPRS into PMX will allow our customers to take advantage of the existing corporate IP infrastructure for mobile voice and mobile data without incurring mobile operator data charges while within range of a private mobile network,” said Dean Parsons, operations director for Private Mobile Networks. EDGE will give it enough data speed to make data applications usable.
More intriguingly, although low-power GSM is only licensed in the UK, PMN claims to be gearing up to do business elsewhere. The GPRS/EDGE ability was added in response to a request form a US partner, which "has access to the 1800MHz band without the need for licences," according to a report on Computer Business Review.
PMN is still developing business models. Companies could install a PMX and issue employees with SIMs; alternatively a hotel could lend SIMs to guests for cheap calls on the premises.
PMN's indoor radios come from picocell maker IP.access