As reported before in one of our previous articles, Vodafone New Zealand launched a new service on their GPRS network: the GPRS Optimiser. The Bytemobile Macara software provides optimisation of some types of network communication, improving performance of GPRS connections by decreasing the amount of data sent and received.
I'm currently using a Mobile Connect Card, reviewed on Geekzone a couple of months ago. This card works with laptops, adding mobile capabilites to a computer. I also tested this using my Pocket PC connected to the GPRS network via Bluetooth with my Nokia 3650.
In a couple of my testings I've timed the download of some Geekzone pages, clearing the browser cache between tests. I was able to notice up to 10 seconds speed up when using the new service.
The initial idea was to release this onto the Vodafone network as a client service. Users would need to install the ByteMobile Macara software so it would work with an Optimisation server in the GPRS network. Since then the implementation was changed a little, and it's now a clientless services. All traffic is routed through their proxy servers, and optimised from there.
It improves the performance of basic Internet (IP) protocols over GPRS, which has different characteristics to fixed-line connections. Protocols optimised include HTTP (web surfing), POP3 (e-mail), FTP (file downloads), SMTP (e-mail) and IMAP (e-mail), as well as image reduction. This is 'lossless' Optimisation which means that no data is discarded during the compression/decompression process.