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Private GSM network available

The first fully commercial ‘private GSM network’ offering launched in the UK on Tuesday, using low power UK spectrum auction off by Ofcom in April.

Private Mobile Networks, owned by Teleware, released PMN SIM cards into the UK market today, enabling business users on a private mobile network to move, seamlessly, between the private and public GSM networks without having to make any changes to their mobile phone.

A SIM card that supports both private and public networks means that the phone will automatically search for the preferred private network and allow the caller to dodge operator call charges. When out of range of the private network, the SIM switches to the selected operator network.

Combined with PMN’s Private Mobile eXchange product earlier this year, companies can now build a private GSM campus network, which can be integrated with existing PBXs.

Dean Bubley, analyst at Disruptive Analysis believes that the system makes a lot of sense at first sight. “Basically, it should enable enterprises to act “as their own MVNO”, providing employees with pseudo-private GSM networks for use while on-campus, hooked up to their landline private/VPN networks to make free “on net” calls between sites. No WiFi dual-mode phones needed, just a new SIM card,” he said.

The industry will now be watching to see what the 11 other auction winners will do with their low power licenses. BT, Cable & Wireless, COLT Mobile Telecommunications, Cyberpress/Pipex, FMS Solutions, Mapesbury Communications, O2, Opal Telecom, PLDT; Shyam Telecom and Spring Mobil are the other licensees.


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