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Rock Your Opponents Miles Away— Gaming over GPRS

GPRS and similar packet-based, data-connection technologies enable an always-on Internet connection for mobile terminals. The connection speed depends on the carrier offering the service. Theoretically, GPRS is capable of providing a connection speed of 115Kbps. In practice, carriers balance between data and voice capacity. The more data transferred in the network, the less voice capacity can be provided and vice versa. Typically, the bandwidth is similar to Internet access from a home computer using a modem dial-up connection.

In contrast to Bluetooth, GPRS is not limited to short-range playing. It facilitates remote game play, as long as a carrier offers a GPRS service in the area where the players are located. In some countries, carriers offer unlimited monthly Internet data access for mobile devices. This is ideal for gamers because they do not have to worry about additional "hidden" charges. The monthly Internet traffic fees for online games might astonish many who have signed up for volume-based data accounts. To maximize the revenue from mobile games, carriers should exercise care in setting the transfer charges. If the fees are too high, gamers will prefer Bluetooth and nononline alternatives and will not embrace wide area mobile multiplay.

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