GOVT SHOULD TAP MOBILE PHONES TO BOOST PINOYS' INTERNET ACCESS

MANILA, December 10, 2003 (STAR) With the popularity of cellular phones, the government should tap them to boost Internet access in the country, said Dr. William Torres, president of Mosaic Communications and co-chairman of the Information Infrastructure Committee of the Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Council (ITECC).

In his presentation during the National Computer Centerís monthly seminar, Torres said the country has a very low percentage in terms of Internet access.

Online access would mean ownership of a personal computer and subscription to an Internet service provider (ISP). With the high cost of equipment and services, it is not surprising that the country has low Internet access.

On the other hand, mobile phones are the most popular tools for communication. "Nowadays, almost every citizen owns a mobile phone," Torres said.

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), a technology that brings online access to mobile phone users, could be the solution in boosting Internet connectivity among Filipinos, he said.

A person who owns a GPRS-capable phone can surf for information on the Internet. "The government should explore the idea of combining Internet and mobile technology to improve online access," Torres said.

Likewise, he encouraged mobile service providers to further strengthen their value-added services, specifically on Wireless Application Protocol (WAP).

"By 2005, there would be one billion mobile subscribers and one billion Internet subscribers globally," he said.

"We should not wait for the third-generation mobile phones before we develop mobile Internet," he added.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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