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Will WAP Flop?



WAP as a technique

WAP services Competition



The tremendous develop of telecommunications technology particularly the tremendous surge of interest and development in the area of wireless data in recent times has caused worldwide operators infrastructure and terminal manufacturers, and content developers to collaborate on an unprecedented scale, in an area notorious for the diversity of standards and protocols.

The collaborative efforts of the WAP Forum and other institutes have devised and continue to develop a set of protocols that provide a common environment for the development of advanced telephony services and Internet access for the wireless market.

If the WAP protocols were to be a successful as transmission control protocol (TCP)/ Internet Protocol (IP), the boom in mobile communications would be phenomenal. Indeed, the WAP browser should do for mobile Internet what for example Netscape did for the Internet. It seems to be too early to tell, whether WAP will be the future for the Internet, it looks like VHS vs Betamax scenario. All we are waiting for is another technology to make its presence felt now on the wireless front. With the kind of commitments that the big time cell phone manufacturers are putting into the WAP scenario its going be around for a long time. Calling it the future of the internet might be putting it too far but its definitely going to be a mainstay technology.

As was mentioned earlier, industry players for content developers to operators can explore the vast opportunity that WAP presents, as a fixed-line technology, the Internet has proved highly successful in reaching the homes of millions worldwide. However, mobile users until now have been forced to accept relatively basic levels of functionality, over and above voice communications and are beginning to demand the industry to move from a fixed to a mobile environment, carrying the functionality of a fixed environment with it.

Initially, services are expected to run over the well-established SMS bearer, which will dictate the nature and speed of early applications. Indeed, GSM currently does not offer the data rates that would allow mobile multimedia and Web browsing. With the advent of GPRS, which aimed at increasing the data rate to 115 kbps, as well as other emerging high-bandwidth bearers, the reality of access speeds equivalent or higher to that of a fixed-line scenario become evermore believable. GPRS is seen by many as the perfect partner for WAP, with its distinct time slots serving to manage data packets in a way that prevents users from being penalized for holding standard circuit-switched connections.

It is expected that mobile terminal manufacturers will experience significant change as a result of WAP technology a chance that will impact the look and feel of the hardware they produce. The main issues faced by this arm of the industry concern the size of mobile phones, power supplies, display size, usability, processing power, and the role of personal digital assistants (PDAs) and other mobile terminals.

With over 75 percent of the world's key handset manufacturers already involved in the WAP Forum and announcing the impending release of WAP compatible handsets, the drive toward new and innovative devices is quickly gathering pace. The handsets themselves will contain a micro browser that will serve to interpret the byte code (generated from the WML/WMLS content) and display interactive content to the user.

The services available to users will be wide-ranging in nature, as a result of the open specifications of WAP, their similarity to the established and accepted Internet model, and the simplicity of the WML/WMLS languages switch, which the applications will be written. Information will be available in push-and-pull functionality, with the ability for users to interact with services via both voice and data interfaces. Web browsing as experienced by the desktop user, however, is not expected to be the main driver behind WAP as a result of time and processing restraints.

Real-time applications and services demand small and key pieces of information that will fuel the success of WAP in the mobile marketplace. Stock prices, news, weather, and travel are only some of the areas in which WAP will provide services for mobile users. Essentially, the WAP application strategy involves taking existing services that are common within a fixed-line environment and tailoring them to be purposeful and user-friendly in a wireless environment.

Empowering the user with the ability to access a wealth of information and services from a mobile device will create a new battleground. Mobile industry players will fight to provide their customers with sophisticated, value-added services. As mobile commerce becomes a more secure and trusted channel by which consumers may conduct their financial affairs, the market for WAP will become even more lucrative.

Nokia, one of the world's leading mobile communications companies, is taking WAP to the Web as the leading global open standard for applications over wireless networks, and paving the way to the Mobile Information Society. This will transform every day life, giving users a new found freedom through intuitive applications based on Nokia's advanced human technologies and infrastructure.

Humberto Granados Sánchez
Yan Li
Leena Pohja

Tämä sivu on tehty Teletekniikan perusteet -kurssin harjoitustyönä.
Sivua on viimeksi päivitetty 05.12.2000 18:55