3 October 2000 – 16 October 2000
Data Liberation Helps Market Researchers to Run Surveys Via WAP
03:04 AM GMT on Oct 16, 2000
Data Liberation, a data service provider, is to offer new technology to help the market research
industry reach WAP users. Companies that wish to use the new Instant Intelligence service select a
panel of respondents who have signed up as participants from a Data Liberation database, then
choose a time for the survey to be broadcast to the participants' WAP phones. Users sign up to the
service online and earn credit for every survey they complete, receiving a cheque when they've
completed 20 surveys.
The technology allows the market research industry an instant response to their questionnaires, as
they can determine a time limit for receiving data back, which can be as short as 30 minutes. The
panellist controls how many surveys they receive and what time of day they receive them.
Chris Morgan, MD of Data Liberation, said, "Market researchers want instant access to opinions and
views, telecoms service providers want new, innovative options for their users, and the WAP users are
looking for new things to do with their phones."
Data Liberation is currently courting investments from a major telecoms network provider and from
the market research industry. The service will be officially launched in November.
WAPs Going On?
03:04 AM GMT on Oct 16, 2000
After e-commerce comes m-commerce - the ability to carry out transactions on the move thanks to
WAP, short for "wireless application protocol", is a way of bringing the Internet to a mobile phone.
Industry experts predict that within 18 months, nearly all the new mobile phones that are on sale will
be WAP-enabled and that in four years' time, people will be carrying out some 14 billion m-commerce
transactions a year, worth close to L13bn.
Sounds unlikely? Not if recent history is anything to go buy. Forecasts by research group Forrester,
though bullish, have consistently under-estimated the rate of ecommerce growth. Not so long ago, the
Internet's "killer application" was seen as email: now, that view seems hopelessly naive.
Also, the relatively primitive devices currently in the shops should not be confused with the kinds of
WAP phones that we'll be using in the future. Today's WAP phones have screens 60 per cent larger
than a "normal" mobile phone but can display nothing like the amount of information that is on a
computer screen. That's why WAP requires a separate language - WML (wireless markup language) to
generate tight, graphics-free fast-loading screen displays suitable for viewing on mobile devices. As
mobile phone technology evolves, the phone displays will soon be more similar in size and quality to
the colour screens on today's pocket organisers.
Another factor in WAP's favour is that it has been designed as an open standard. This should avoid
the "standard wars" that plagued the development of video in the 1980s.
More than 200 mobile phone manufacturers, software firms, phone companies and Internet
organisations have already signed up for WAP Indeed, businesses that fancy setting themselves up in
m-commerce can download the WAP specification itself - as well as ample useful technical information
- free from the Internet.
Clearly, the initial prime market for WAP is travel-related. Rail tickets, traffic information, hotel
reservations, "where's the nearest cash machine?" queries - WAP services for all of these exist now,
and more websites are currently coming online. Another large market, of course, is providing
"convenience" services to people who just happen to be on the move: online banking, stock price
information, share dealing, restaurant information - even book buying. Stuck on a train? Log on to
Amazon.com and order a book.
Any time, any place, anywhere?
Even ordinary businesses will begin to plug WAP phones into their back office systems in the same
way that giant corporations do now. Travelling salespeople will be able to check on an order's status,
for instance, while they're in the customer's office. Delivery drivers will be able to confirm deliveries as
they are made, and receive instructions or directions for the next call.
Is there a catch? Is m-commerce inevitably set for assured success? Not necessarily. Observers point
to two particularly awkward flies in the ointment.
The first is the still-evolving WAP standard. Critics point out that it isn't fully secure and that it will in
any case be overtaken by the facilities offered by third-generation mobile phones.
Another problem is that the US, the driving force for all things Internet-related, lags far behind the UK
and Europe in its take-up of mobile phones. Some analysts say the US's "receiving party pays" pricing
is to blame. More significant from the point of view of WAP technology, however, is the fact that the
country has three competing mobile standards. WAP is based on only one platform, GSM.
The rush to exploit the rich new wireless market is sparking a competitive scrap over who
will establish a dominant wireless data transfer standard. But why do we need a
standard? What will it achieve?
Oct 12, 2000
Chan Komagan, Contributing Writer
Dazzled by the rich potential of the market, wireless telecommunications carriers are poised to move
rapidly from offering simple voice communications to more lucrative data services. The rush to exploit
this rich new market is sparking a competitive scrap over who will establish a dominant wireless data
transfer standard. But why do we need a standard? What will it achieve?
As consumers demand from mobile phones more services such as email, Web access and
videoconferencing, the bandwidth required for those services keeps increasing. Data messaging,
including multimedia content such as graphics, video, and images, will put huge traffic demands on
cellular networks. These networks will have to be based on robust transmission standards if they are
going to be able to handle the massive volume of data traffic without breaking down.
The three major standards currently used in the wireless industry are Global System for Mobile (GSM)
communications, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), and Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA). Of
the three, GSM is the most widely used standard comprising more than 120 million users worldwide
with the largest number concentrated in Europe. CDMA is the next most widely used standard,
particularly in the U.S. and in parts of Asia. Both of these standards are being rapidly enhanced to
accommodate demand for additional capacity and Internet capabilities.
CDMA is a "spread spectrum" technology that distributes information within the signal over a given
bandwidth. CDMA offers great benefits such as:
• A traffic capacity increase of 8 to 10 times the capacity of the legacy Advanced Mobile Phone
Systems (AMPS) system and 4 to 5 times that that of GSM
• Simplified system planning and privacy
• Improved coverage characteristics that allow mobile carriers to service a given area with
fewer cell sites
• Bandwidth on demand
CDMA is used almost everywhere in the world. Sprint PCS and many other network operators-
including Bell Atlantic, Canada's Bell Mobility, GTE Wireless, and Vodafone AirTouch-run their digital
wireless voice services using CDMA technology. CDMA network deployment and subscriber growth
have developed considerable momentum. As a result, data services are now available from a number
of carriers. Currently, these carriers use circuit-switched technology operating at 14.4 kbps.
From the carrier perspective, network operators are turning their attention to wireless data as a way
of generating additional billable traffic across their networks. Many U.S. personal communications
services (PCS) operators must recoup huge investments in 1,900 MHz-frequency PCS spectrum and
As with GSM, CDMA requires a handset that specifically supports data. Connect the phone to a laptop,
and the phone operates just like a modem enabling the user to establish dial-up connections to the
Internet, to corporate remote access server (RAS), and so on. WAP-based micro browser applications
are also being made available.
In the shift to third-generation (3G) mobile communications, CDMA has become crucial to carriers that
use GSM (the European standard), and to those using cdmaOne, which is widespread in the United
States and in Asia. Developed by the military, CDMA gets its efficiency by spreading a signal across all
of the carrier's bandwidth, while keeping call channels separate by assigning them codes, which
allows a carrier to use all of its frequencies in each of its cells. Two of the CDMA versions in the ITU
standard are being encouraged to merge, at least by some industry proponents. One version,
cdma2000, has the cdmaOne camp's support; the other version is Wideband-CDMA, (W-CDMA).
cdmaOne and cdma2000
cdmaOne is a global technology that accounts for the entire wireless system and specifications, such
as the air interface and the network interfaces. cdmaOne offers the superior data capacity, reliability
and other features that enable Internet access on a wide range of mobile devices. Networks running
cdmaOne provide both circuit and packet switched data services at speeds up to 14.4 kbps.
The cdmaOne subscriber base is growing enormously both in U.S. and overseas.
The third-generation version of GSM is based on W-CDMA. This version of CDMA deviates from
American standards, although it uses the same spread spectrum principles. W-CDMA has the ability to
transmit data at 2 megabits per second (Mbps) indoors. The air link, using either 5 MHz, 10 MHz, or
20 MHz radio channels, is a vast increase from GSM's current 200 kHz channels.
The 3G technologies are expected to support wireless Internet and multimedia transmission at 384
kbps up from today's slim 14.4 kbps. For instance, a caller could engage in a videoconference on his
mobile phone while simultaneously checking his stock portfolio-functions the wired world takes for
3G Service Subscribers (millions)
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Americas - - 0.02 0.1 1.9 5.2 10.6
Europe - 0.02 0.8 2.7 4.9 8.6 16.9
Japan 0.02 0.12 0.9 2.1 4.2 7.8 12.5
Total 0.02 0.14 1.7 4.9 11.0 21.6 40.0
cdmaOne versus W-CDMA
Standards development work by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) brought the two
CDMA interfaces closer than ever, reducing their differences from 17 to three. Of those three
differences, the key one in dispute is the chip rate, or speed at which the CDMA signal is spread
across bandwidth. The cdmaOne community is allied with the 3.68 Mbps chip rate of cdma2000, a
tripling of their present chip rate. W-CDMA supporters, however, favor 4.096 Mbps. The effort to get
both sides to agree is starting to resemble world diplomacy.
Earlier this year, a key prospective W-CDMA supplier, Ericsson said that without forsaking the 4.096
Mbps rate, it would also manufacture phones that would operate at a top speed of 3.84 Mbps if
customers requested such gear. That sparked the interest of cdma2000 supporters. Early this year, a
group of mobile carriers who support cdma2000 launched a series of secret talks that culminated in
an April meeting in Tokyo. Major American mobile communications companies that participated in the
talks included such cdmaOne carriers as AirTouch Communications, Bell Atlantic Mobile and Sprint
PCS, as well as one American GSM user, Omnipoint Communications. Officially, the group said only
that it had developed a proposal that it would submit to the ITU. The 27 carriers from around the
world who gathered at that conference backed the 3.84 rate.
GSM, which is available in 120 countries, uses a variation of TDMA technology, which is generally
regarded as inferior to the more advanced CDMA standard. However, one of the key advantages of
GSM system is that its users can roam. Because GSM operators have roaming agreements with foreign
operators, users can continue to use their cell phones when travel to other countries.
Analog cellular systems such as AMPS and Total Access Communication System (TACS) are considered
first-generation (1G) technologies. Second generation (2G) wireless technology refers to today's
digital cellular systems, including GSM, cdmaOne, IS-136, and Japan's Personal Digital Cellular (PDC).
Second-generation systems were originally designed for voice, although they now also transport a
limited amount of low-speed data communication. Third generation (3G) cellular systems will begin to
appear in this decade and will communicate voice, video, and data at speeds of up two megabits per
second. The first commercial 3G cellular system is scheduled to begin service in March 2001 in Japan.
Third generation cellular telephone technologies will be needed to meet the future demand for high-
speed wireless data services such as Internet browsing, database access, multimedia services, and
real-time video. Even without the introduction of new high-bandwidth wireless services, today's 2G
digital cellular telephone systems will have to be replaced in the next decade to take advantage of
advances in technology, improve capacity, and to expand service.
International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) is the name for the UTI's initiative to
develop the standards and technologies to make worldwide Any-to-Any wireless access a reality.
IMT-2000 is best understood as a minimum set of capabilities for delivering communications services;
it is not intended to define the air interface that will deliver the services, nor does it specify what the
IMT-2000 services will be. IMT-2000 recommendations call for a wireless data speed of 144 kilobits
per second for high-speed mobile users, 384 kilobits per second for users moving at pedestrian
speeds, and two megabits per second for stationary users.
Once 3G systems are in place, wireless services and their customers will use them for applications not
yet envisioned today; however, one can speculate. The table below shows some probable 3G
applications, and the bandwidth that they might require. High-fidelity voice communication could be
easily accomplished with a data speed of 28 kilobits per second in each direction. Two-way multimedia
services such as videoconferencing would use several hundred kilobits per second in each direction.
Possible 3G Services
Service Upstream speed (kb/s) Downstream speed (kb/s)
Voice 28 28
Messaging 28 28
Circuit-switched data 56 56
Internet 28 560
One-way multimedia 56 560
Most members of the cellular industry believe that a CDMA-based technology will be clearly superior
to one based on TDMA. However, both Qualcomm and Ericsson are withholding the rights to patents,
which they claim to hold, that are required to implement a CDMA-based system. In frustration, the
ITU informed the two companies that if by January 1, 1999 they did not release the rights to any
CDMA-related intellectual property which might affect a 3G CDMA proposal, the ITU would proceed
with a TDMA standard and would no longer consider a CDMA-based solution.
Qualcomm and Ericsson called the ITU's bluff. This puts the ITU in a quandary. Under its own rules it
cannot consider a CDMA-based technology unless that technology is available to all who wish to use
it. If the ITU were to drop CDMA and give its blessing only to a TDMA-based air interface, the industry
would thumb its nose at the ITU, and deploy CDMA-based systems by working with regional standards
In late February 1999, Qualcomm and Ericsson announced that they would cross-license some of their
patents related to CDMA. The discussions between the two companies could result in an agreement
that would allow work on CDMA-based 3G technologies to progress. IMT-2000 recommends that radio
frequencies in the two-GHz range be reserved throughout the world for 3G cellular systems. In
Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Japan, and Korea two 60 MHz-wide blocks of spectrum have been
designated for IMT-2000. These blocks are 1,885 to 2,025 MHz and 2,110 to 2,200 MHz.
There has been endless debate over whether to harmonize the wireless standards and, if wireless
standards are to be harmonized, whether harmonization should be done by an industry standards
group, or let the private carrier corporations take care of it. Service providers and consumers are
concerned about leaving the job to the carriers because, while there is plenty of competition and free-
market choices in the U.S., there is significantly less competition in Europe. And, with less
competition, European carriers could impose a restrictive, propriety standard that conflicts with a
more worldwide standard, or which would cost consumers more. But U.S. carriers' participation in
IMT-2000 shows their interest in achieving a harmonized wireless standard. Most carriers, including
Qualcomm, have made many investments in CDMA technology, and would prefer to see the 3G
system adopt their standard.
A consortium of U.S. telecommunications companies developed Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD)
network standard in 1993. The advantage of CDPD is that it uses a digital packet switched network on
top of the networks that were designed for voice communications only. Also CDPD leverages the
investment in existing systems in a relatively economical way. Major network carriers including AT&T,
Bell Atlantic, and GTE completed implementation of CDPD-enabled networks. While CDMA and TDMA
networks are compatible with CDPD, GSM standards are not.
The Personal Communication Service (PCS) standard currently incorporate Short Messaging System
(SMS) protocols for managing message-based communications. It is a two-way 1900 MHz digital
offering now being rolled out across the United States. PCS is another widely used data transmission
standard that incorporates CDMA, GSM, and TDMA.
Wireless devices, such as the Palm Pilot, PDAs, two-way pagers, devices running the Windows CE
operating system, and other smart appliances, offer a variety of functions including interactive
applications. Smart phones are cellular phones equipped with an Internet browser. They are large
enough to accommodate powerful electronics, which gives them more processing power.
Different vendors provide different features such as data transmission standards, GUI, etc. Some
GSM-based devices do not support advanced functionality because at this time SMS only allows for
exchange of short emails and digital fax transfer. Some smart phones come with a UP Browser that
enables wireless technology. UP Browser displays Handheld Devices Markup Language (HDML) and
uses WAP to achieve wireless Internet.
Worldwide mobile phone use exceeded 300 million users.
1999 Mobile Phone Users (millions) Internet Users (millions)
Worldwide 300 327
US 96 80
Europe 141 31
Japan 50 11
Mobile Phone Categories
Digital technologies offer "multiple access" to radio spectrum. Several subscribers can access the
same channel at one time. Voice quality and capacity differs markedly among the various digital
Offered by: Nokia
Sold by: Ameritech Cellular, AT&T Wireless Services
Technology: Full CDMA
These are nothing but Single-Mode phones that work in 1900 frequency range.
Frequency Range: 1850-1910 MHz transmitter, 1930-1990 MHz Receiver
Offered by: Qualcomm, Nokia
3. Dual Mode phones
Technology: CDMA digital
Analog Data capable
Frequency Range: 824-848 transmitter and 869-893 Receiver
Offered By: Qualcomm
4. Dual band dual-mode phone that works in the 800 MHz digital cellular and
analog / 1900 MHz digital PCS.
Technology: Both Digital CDMA and analog
Dual mode means it supports communications on both digital and analog cellular systems as
well as dual band (supports telephone service on two separate frequencies: 800 MHz and
Analog Data capable
Offered By: Qualcomm
Technology: TDMA 800/TDMA 900/Analog
A TriMode phone operates on 2 frequency bands, such as 800 MHz and 1900 MHz, as well as
operating in both digital and analog networks.
Offered By: Nokia.
What do analysts say about the cellular future?
Frost & Sullivan: The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for wireless data from 1996 through
2003 is projected to be 35 percent. The market is expected to grow to ten times its current value, and
reach close to $2.5 billion by the year 2002.
Yankee Group: The Yankee Group projects that more than one million wireless intelligent terminals
(WITs) will be sold in the year 2000, comprising almost 4 percent of total wireless terminal sales that
Gartner Group: The opportunity for wireless data communication in the United States is huge, with
25.3 million of the 112.1 million workforce having a mobile job requirement, but growth will be slow
Strategis: Two million wireless data subscribers exist in 1997 and the market is predicted to grow at
an average annual rate of over 40 percent through 2002.
Ovum: By the end of the year 2000, there will be over three million users of data over GSM services
in Western Europe, rising from a current installed base of around 300,000. In the UK, there will be
900,000 users of data over GSM services by 2000, rising from the current installed base of around
The wireless industry is currently the fastest growing industry in the world. Wireless carriers and
phone manufacturers are striving for an open access standard to make mobile eBusiness an
economically potent option.
As noted by Forrester Research, all three major wireless standards, CDMA, TDMA and GSM will
converge to a single standard in this decade. Major portals, Internet service providers, and other
content providers are aggressively investing in this market. Last year, Qualcomm and Ericsson
reached a settlement to end their longstanding dispute regarding the intellectual property, and have
agreed to unify the digital CDMA standard. Japanese telecom operators are working with 3G
Partnership Project (3GPP) to find a better way to integrate W-CDMA into the next generation wireless
We are seeing more consolidation in the wireless market than ever before. Consolidation will offer a
great advantage to the customer in providing a standard way for accessing the service from anywhere
in the world without needing to change services or phones. The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
and i-Mode technologies will open up a whole new way for the service providers to offer Internet-
based services to the customers. Both are open standard technologies that offer wireless telephony
services on digital mobile phones and other smart devices.
Chan Komagan is a consultant at Scient specializing in wireless technologies. His expertise includes
WAP, Bluetooth, and mobile eBusiness.
Mirapoint Introduces WAP Access Without a WAP Gateway
14:00 PM GMT on Oct 12, 2000
[Messaging Online, Inc.]
Mirapoint Inc., building upon its Global Open Access Strategy, is introducing WAPmail Direct , a
mailbox connector for mobile phones running the Wireless Application Protocol.
As with the WebMail Direct connector introduced in May, the key to the new product is its elimination
of the need for a separate gateway with protocol conversion, and the elimination of the need for a
second message store and for synchronization between the two message stores.
Mobile phones connect to WAPmail Direct and are given direct access to the MessageBase message
store. If they read and delete a message on their mobile phones, it will be deleted from their POP3
and/or IMAP4 views of the same message store. If they send a message from a WAP phone, it will
appear in the sent folder of their desktop view of the message store. There's only one view for the
multiple devices, so there's no need to synchronize between them.
Message Filtering Needed
The subscriber, however, will have to establish filters and special folders for their most important
messages. If they log into their standard inbox, they'll see listings for all their messages -- spam
and business messages alike. They'll also see listings for messages they can't view because they
contain large attachments. But if they create a wireless folder, and create filters that move messages
from certain senders there, then they will be better able to manage the influx while on the road.
What they don't read and delete from the road will still be there when they return to their desktop.
Mirapoint provides spam and virus filtering for the entire server no matter what the client access
protocol, so of course these types of messages can be eliminated before they can reach the wireless
More Protocols Besides WAP
Ramachandran said WAP and i-mode are just the beginning of a series of developments for wireless
messaging that will carry the company into the era of third-generation UMTS networks. "In addition to
WAP, we look at supporting protocols such as i-mode (cHTML), or additionally anything that rides on
top of the GPRS infrastructure, and XML, and we're not quite sure what the transition between GPRS
and UMTS is going to be, but we'll be supporting anything involving the UMTS protocols as well."
( 7 ) PROFILE: Location-based Consumer App Vindigo
Ear to the Ground: Vindigo Builds Model for Content in the Wireless Space
Quentin Mendoza, Staff Writer
It was in March that Vindigo premiered its PalmOS location-based consumer
service. Since the product's initial launch in New York City to 50 users,
the service has grown to include 170,000 registered users in nearly a dozen
cities. More cities will soon be added and Vindigo is currently conducting
a closed-beta of its WAP service. Amidst the all the industry hype, the
company offers a compelling success story.
Logically, the idea for location-based services fits neatly within the
intrinsic utility of the mobile device. Unlike the stationary desktop
machine, the handheld computer, two-way pager, and wireless handset offer
users the opportunity to take advantage of real-world functionality. This
was the concept that led to Vindigo's conception.
The fundamental tenet of Vindigo's product philosophy is that of
practicality. The real-world mobile user needs to know how to find the
people, places, and things around her. From the consumer's standpoint, the
information that is most useful regards where in her neighborhood she can go
to "Eat, Shop, and Play". To this end Vindigo is developing a single
platform, through which its content partners, such as NYTimes.com and
Gap.com, can reach consumer's using regardless of the device they are using.
"We are working to design custom client solutions that integrate with the
mobile device to do what that device does best," said Vindigo co-founder and
President, David Joerg.
For both the back and front ends, the application is seamless. The content
provider need only supply his information once; from there, Vindigo is
responsible for resolving all present and future interoperability issues.
Similarly, the consumer need not worry about the technical details of her
device, which operating system, browser version, or markup language it
supports. Based on this model, the company is hoping to create a reliable
and trusted brand name in the wireless space.
Partnerships are a primary component of Vindigo's strategy. "Content
providers are not usually technology partners," said Joerg. "But Vindigo¹s
technology enables content providers to publish data to us once, but to get
it to every device on the planet." With Vindigo's XML-based feed
application, the platform on which the original data is published is
inconsequential and therefore not a concern to the contributing party.
And the contributor is not limited to Vindigo's content partners. Realizing
that "mobile information services are not a one way channel," the company
allows users to review the various services listed in the Vindigo directory.
With approximately 80,000 reviews logged so far, Vindigo has discovered a
powerful tool for proving its worth back to advertisers, many of whom are
skeptical of doing business in the wireless industry, but Vindigo is in the process of creating an
entirely new method of advertising in the wireless space.
"Advertisements on a wireless device are highly targetable," says Joerg.
"Different ads can be displayed based on where the user is, what time it is,
and which part of the Vindigo application the user is browsing. Ads give
you different ideas for spending your time and money, and we are looking to
become a provider of this technology to portals and carriers."
Joerg points out the differences between Web-based advertising and the
off-line model that Vindigo uses for its Palm application. Yet despite the
creative, technical and logistical difference, the company's advertising
initiatives have shown an average 4% success rate, with new campaigns
yielding as much as 15% success rate. They have also begun offering instant
coupon offers by which users can receive discounts from their local partners
such as restaurants. The utility of coupons takes on a new meaning when they
are uploaded to your device, based on your location and preferences, and
offered to you when are searching for a related service or product.
Like other applications for the Palm platform, client functionality
generally outstrips network availability. Although Vindigo for Palm can be
updated via a wireless Internet connection, the company realized the
impracticality of this solution. Hence, updates of information, software,
and bug fixes are generally done whenever the user syncs the device with her
desktop machine where the network connection is faster and more reliable.
This in turn drives customer satisfaction and loyalty, both for Vindigo as
well as their partners.
For Vindigo, its 170,000 "fanatically happy users" are just the tip of the
iceberg. With versions of the applications planned for virtually every
wireless device on the market, the company is working to assemble the most
comprehensive database representation of street-level reality ever. As
network technology evolves, the company will adapt its application to
further increase its functionality. With another partner, Rand McNally,
Vindigo has already added GPS capability and within months the company will
release version for WAP.
Undoubtedly, Vindigo has discovered the elixir of success in the wireless
market, that is sensitivity to the market from the device in the user's hand
to the device itself, technology partners, content providers, and
advertisers who drive consumer markets.
For a list of cities where Vindigo is available or to download the
application for PalmOS go to http://www.vindigo.com.
Understanding WAP Technologies
22:45 PM GMT on Oct 07, 2000
Intended to define application framework and network protocols for information exchange between
wireless devices, the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) architecture specification acts as a starting
point for understanding WAP technologies and resulting specifications. Its programming model has
been developed to resemble the Internet World-Wide Web (WWW) under which, applications and
content are presented in standard data formats and are browsed by applications known as web
browsers. This similarity provides several benefits to the application developer community, such as a
familiar programming model, a proven architecture, together with the ability to make use of existing
appliances including web servers, eXtensible Markup Language (XML) tools etc. In addition,
optimizations and extensions have been made to match the characteristics of the wireless
WAP content and applications are specified in a set of well-known content formats based on familiar
WWW content formats. Also, content is transported using a set of standard communications protocols
based on the WWW communications protocols. A micro-browser in the wireless terminal controls the
user interface and is analogous to a standard web browser. A set of standard components are defined
by the architecture specification to enable communication between mobile terminals and network
servers including: standard naming models - WWW-standard Uniform Resource Locators (URL) are
used for WAP content on origin servers; content typing - all WAP content is given in a specific type
consistent with WWW typing; standard content formats - WAP content formats are based on WWW
technology and include display markup, calendar information, electronic business card objects, images
and scripting language; and standard communication protocols - WAP communication protocols
enable the communication of browser requests from the mobile terminal to the network web server.
Wireless Application Environment
The WAP architecture provides a scalable and extensible environment for application development for
mobile communications devices - achieved by a layered design of the entire protocol stack. The
Wireless Application Environment (WAE) is a result of WAP's efforts to promote industry-wide
standards and specifications for developing applications and services. Principally, the WAE architecture
includes all elements of the WAP architecture related to application specification and execution. At this
point, the WAE is predominately focused on the client-side aspect of the system architecture.
Specifically, WAE architecture is defined primarily in terms of networking schemes, content formats,
programming languages and shared services. Since the Internet and the Web are the inspiration and
motivation behind significant parts of the WAE specification, a similar approach is being used within.
Because interfaces are not standardized and are specific to a particular implementation, the WAE can
be applied without compromising interoperability or portability.
WAE also adopts and closely follows the WWW model. For example, all content is specified in formats
that are similar to the standard Internet formats and is transported using standard protocols in the
Web domain, along with an optimized HTTP-like protocol in the wireless domain. Some authoring and
publishing methods have been borrowed as well. However, WAE enhances some of the WWW
standards in ways that reflect device and network traits. WAE extensions are added to support Mobile
Network Services such as Call Control and Messaging. Careful attention is paid to memory and CPU
processing constraints in conjunction with support for low bandwidth and high latency networks. WAE
assumes the existence of gateway functionality responsible for encoding and decoding data
transferred from and to the mobile client; serving to minimize the size of data sent to the client over-
the-air and minimize the computational energy required by the client to same-time process that data.
WAE is divided into two logical layers - user agents, a client-side in-device software that provides
specific functionality (display content, for instance) to the end-user and includes such items as
browsers, phonebooks and message editors; and services and formats, which cover common elements
and formats accessible to user agents such as Wireless Markup Language (WML), WMLScript, image
formats etc. The WML, a tag-based document language, is a fundamental user agent of the WAE. It
interacts with the user through a set of cards, which can be grouped together into a document
ensuring navigation. The user navigates to a card, reviews its content, may enter requested
information, may make choices, and then moves on to another card. The WML does not specify how
implementations request input from a user but focuses instead on the intent in an abstract manner.
Thus, it can be implemented in a wide variety of input devices and mechanisms.
Wireless Telephony Application
On the other hand, WAE is not limited to a WML but allows the integration of domain-specific user
agents with varying architectures and environments. In particular, a Wireless Telephony Application
(WTA) user agent has been specified as an extension and application framework for the mobile
telephony environments. To enable simple telephony functions from within a WAE user agent, a
special WTA library has been created - which can be called from any WAE application. For example, it
allows WML authors to include "click-to-phone" functionality within their content to save users from
typing a number using the default interface. In addition, the WAE includes a set of agreed-upon
content formats that facilitate interoperable data exchange. The two most important formats are the
encoded WML and the WMLScript bytecode.
In order to provide the highest technically possible probability that two WAP products independently
developed by different vendors will be able to interoperate, WAP Forum has created a WAP
Conformance Specification (WAPConf), which maintains all current information relating to that issue.
Successful interoperability can only be achieved by testing products. A process that can be divided
into two broad categories of static and dynamic testing. Static testing is a manufacturer's
statement of the capabilities and functions of a product and is used to identify obvious areas of
incompatibility between two products - for example, if one implements a feature not supported by the
other. Dynamic testing is the real form of testing, involving the execution and exercise of a product in
a live environment, finally proving that the product meets the claims made in the static test phase.
WAP Industry Confident in Face of I-Mode Arrival
13:00 PM GMT on Oct 05, 2000
The UK wireless industry is still confident about the future of WAP following last week's announcement
that NTT DoCoMo and KPN Mobile plan to form a joint venture to roll out the hugely successful i-mode
service across Europe
KPN and DoCoMo plan to launch i-mode mobile Internet services concurrently with the roll out of
GPRS networks across Europe. Based on cHTML, these could emerge as a serious competitor to WML-
based WAP services.
Tom Dibble, founder of Eurowireless, believes i-mode's underlying language could give it the edge
over existing WAP services. "Applications like games and email fly a lot easier around an i-mode
system," he said. "WML will be faster through GPRS, but it's not as intuitive or easy to work with."
DoCoMo plans to search for further European mobile partners to drive adoption of i-mode. However,
investment in WAP means UK wireless companies may be reluctant to adopt an alternative
"Don't write off WAP. In an always-on world it will come into its own," said Smith. "I-mode will be
seen as what it is: a nice service targeted at the youth market."
The success of i-mode must also be put in context of the cultural environment in which it operates.
"In Japan there's a lack of PC distribution and a youth culture used to games and comics," said Smith.
But KPN Mobile believes the technology will find a foothold in the European market. "We're going to
launch different products based on i-mode," said a spokesman.
One stumbling block for take-up of these services is the lack of suitable handsets. Ericsson has no
plans to introduce support for i-mode. Steve Walker, Ericsson marketing director for UMTS, said, "I'm
not convinced i-mode will arrive." He believes the future of the mobile Internet lies in WAP via GPRS,
rather than the relationship that exists in Japan between the technology and a single operator.
Most observers believe the openness of the WAP standard will stave off the threat of i-mode. "WAP is
a really strong worldwide phenomenon so i-mode won't be a threat," said Stuart Newstead of BT
Cellnet's GM wireless data services.
UK new media investment in WAP appears safe. The arrival of i-mode is unlikely to topple the
protocol, with its success more likely to rest on existing side by side with WAP, if not merging
altogether as the standards converge on xHTML.
Slippery Road Ahead for Wireless Location Apps
20:15 PM GMT on Oct 09, 2000
Worries about loss of privacy caused by the use of wireless devices will rock the budding wireless
location industry, analysts and users warned last week.
"I think there are huge land mines with wireless ahead," said Alan Davidson, staff counsel at the
Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington, a public interest group that works with industry
and government on social issues involving technology.
The issue is especially acute with wireless vendors preparing location-based applications that will allow
carriers and marketers to track the location of users and send them alerts about sales on services or
personal goods, he said.
Compared to the privacy uproar over the wired Internet in recent years, privacy concerns over
wireless will be "exponentially bigger," Davidson said at a conference of the Personal Communications
Industry Association here.
"The first time somebody steals location information on the whereabouts of a kid and he goes
missing, there will be a backlash and lawsuits," he added. Or a phone company employee could have
a crush on a woman with a cell phone and use the purloined data to follow her around, he said.
While vendors downplayed the potential hazards of location-based services, market analysts Risto
Perttunen and William J. Passmore at New Yorkbased McKinsey & Co. said that the concerns are real
and that the industry isn't addressing the issue sufficiently
"People have not realized the value of location services and have not realized the loss of privacy
involved," Perttunen said.
For a company considering rolling out wireless applications to consumers or workers, having the
ability to track the whereabouts of customers or employees will require a higher level of corporate
readiness, Passmore said.
"Companies need to realize they will be scrutinized by all sorts of groups," he said.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set Oct. 1 of next year as the deadline for
carriers to begin providing location services for wireless phones, which would help public safety
officials respond to emergency calls from cell phones to find someone lost or injured in a car crash.
Ironically, the public safety protections of that FCC provision could cause privacy and safety concerns
of their own, some analysts said.
"We ought to build systems that encourage 911 location services but that aren't just personal tracking
systems," said Davidson. The location of a wireless user could fall into the hands of the police,
threatening the innocent, he added.
The FCC has set rules for wireless carriers to provide emergency dispatchers with information on the
location from which a wireless call is made. Recently, the FCC delayed the requirement for carriers to
begin selling and activating automatic location identification wireless phones from March 1, 2001, to
Oct. 1, 2001.
( 1 ) MOBILE INSIGHTS: TOTALLY USELESS? OR CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT? YOU DECIDE
I have to admit that since it seems that everyone in the mobile commerce space is essentially making
it up as they go along, since we all have no clue what will turn out to be the most useful applications
and services in the coming years as wireless technology starts to hit its stride, that I frequently find
myself making strange faces at my laptop when reading some of the news and announcements that
make their way into my e-mailbox each day.
Here's an example: "Senada.com Announces Wireless Partnership with AmericanGreetings.com."
Of course! The killer app for mobile commerce has arrived: the ability to send an electronic greeting
card from your Palm to your honey's WAP phone. I'm such a dolt; why didn't I think of that?
Granted, I actually view this partnership as another example of one popular web company's attempt
to muscle in on the wireless web, basically because someone at the company knows that other
ventures that make even less sense wirelessly enabled have already staked their claim in the mobile
"Now where's the nearest bakery for dogs in case Rowfy throws a tantrum during obedience training
and won't settle down until he gets a treat from the Bow Wow Bakery?" (Of course, I know I wrote
about the two mobile sites that web designer Refinery produced for Jeremy's Microbatch Ice Cream,
but hey, to me, this is essential stuff, not dog biscuits.) In fact, if I hold a Palm Pilot up to my
forehead and close my eyes, I clearly see a vision of people looking back at these early optimistic days
of mobile commerce and saying things similar to what we're saying now about boo.com: What drugs
were they on?
Along the same lines, there have been a few items this week heralding a new
age of wireless video. Kanakaris Wireless did it
did Sprint and Qualcomm last month, when they both declared the effortless
delivery of video images over the web.
(And yes, I also know that I wrote about the streaming video produced by
Tornado at GlobalXChange, but I don't know, all of these similar
announcements have too much of a me-too flavor to them, as if Sprint went
around the GlobalXChange floor looking for the latest and greatest
technologies and then proceeded to issue press releases the following week
announcing their grand foray into these cutting-edge fields, never mind that
they don't have enough staff to fill one cubicle of this new division.)
Pardon me a minute while I shock you and serve as skeptical questioner, but
aren't traditional websites still working out the details on video to PCs?
And now wireless providers and manufacturers announce it's available on
handhelds? Of course, the quality of such images -- whether desktop bound or
wirelessly enabled -- is pretty primitive, even those I witnessed at the
Tornado booth, which makes me wonder what the fuss was all about a couple of
weeks ago when the Japanese police honed in on a mobile porn site that
contained nothing but static pictures. With video via wireless Internet in
its current state, well, while streaming porn video to handhelds would
undoubtedly be very popular, the resulting images would be akin to
hiccupping low-resolution images of silicon queens covering no more than a
couple of square inches in area.
Like I said, what kinds of hallucinogens are these people on? Greeting
cards? Next thing you know, PetSmart will be selling WAP phones for dogs and
sending wireless coupons for 15 percent off your next purchase of kibble
whenever you and Rowfy pass within two miles of the nearest location.
Please. Just as not every business needs a website (I know there are those
who will respectfully disagree with me), it's more true when it comes to the
development arena of wireless Internet. Yes, early movers do have an
advantage in some categories, but given the extremely low penetration of
wireless devices that are mobile Internet-ready, not everyone needs to be
rushing the gates at once.
17 october 2000 – 29 October 2000
o GoAmerica Becomes Founding Member of Oracle Wireless Partner Initiative
o WAP Goes Open Source
o Mobile Auctions Via SMS a Reality
o Double WAMMI
Sonata's ad-serving platform and Advertising.com's Wireless Advertising
Marketing and Measurement Initiative (WAMMI) were introduced separately
last week to measure the effectiveness of wireless advertising.
o DHL Introduces SMS, WAP Tracking
o Survey Reveals Huge Growth in Use of SMS, E-Mail
30 October 2000
o Digital Airways Introduces Online WAP Simulator