GPRS data became available in my area in September of 2001 (with VoiceStream). The day after it became available, I had a phone.
GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) data is a 2.5G protocol. Quick review: the first generation of data was 9600 baud over analog. The second generation (2G) refers to technology like CDMA data (14.4k). 2.5G services are an interim step between 2G services and 3G services (which should provide speeds similar to wired networks). GPRS provides 56k data (under ideal conditions).
The minibrowser on the Timeport P280 uses GPRS as its back-end transport, and payment plans are based on number of megabytes transferred. The phone is still capable of 2G data over GSM at 9600 baud (charged against voice minutes, apparently).
Anywho, VoiceStream requires their iStream software be installed for Windows and Windows CE devices to connect to their GPRS network. (You can connect using their 9600 baud mechanism with no special software.) I've gotten the same thing working under Linux using pppd and a custom connect script:
# File: /etc/ppp/gprs debug /dev/ttyS0 57600 crtscts nodetach connect /etc/ppp/connectscript noipdefault ipcp-accept-local local novh novhccomp disconnect /etc/ppp/disconnectscript defaultroute mtu 1500
# File: /etc/ppp/connectscript exec chat \ OK AT+CGQMIN=1,0,0,3,0,0 \ OK AT+CGQREQ=1,0,0,3,0,0 \ OK AT+CGATT? \ OK AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","internet2.voicestream.com",,0,0 \ OK AT+IPR=57600 \ OK ATD*99***1# \ TIMEOUT 30 \ CONNECT ""
# File: /etc/ppp/disconnectscript exec /usr/sbin/chat -s -V -S \ "" "\K" \ "" "+++ATH"