W.A.P. (WirelessApplication Protocol).What is wap ? Short for the Wireless Application Protocol, a secure specification that allows users to accessinformation instantly via handheld wireless devices such as mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios,smart phones and communicatorsThe wireless telecommunication and the Internet are rapidly growing industries that are gaining moreand more customers every day. The WAP intention is to combine these two markets and answer thenew demands in this field Purpose of WAP is to enable easy fast delivery of relevant information and services to mobile users.
Standard communication protocols � WAP communication protocols enable the communication ofbrowser requests from the mobile terminal to the network web server.Content Encoders and Decoders � The content encoders translate WAP content into compact encodedformats to reduce the size of data over the network.Encoders and Decoders Content � The content encoders translate WAP content into compact encodedformats to reduce the size of data over the network.Diagram:This infrastructure ensures that mobile terminal users can browse a wide variety of WAP content andapplications, and that the application author is able to build content services and applications that runon a large base of mobile terminals.
What are Components of a WAP service?Here we will describe the typical components for the setup of a WAP service.The following figure shows how the components in a WAP service interact.
WAP terminals Users of WAP services access WAP content with a WAP terminal.The following devices can serve as WAP terminals: 1. Mobile phones with built-in GSM modem, WAP stack, and micro browser (e.g. Nokia) 2. Palmtops with GSM phone connected and additional WAP/ browser software Billing: Network operators should map the dial-in number for the ISDN channel package to a network-internal abbreviated number in order to offer exclusive content to customers and operating billingmechanisms to the content provider. This also allows operators to offer a cost-effective minute-basedrate for WAP online time. If different access numbers are used (for example, in order to realize network-independent access), users are encouraged to use "Friends & Family" or "Home City" access numbers.The MSISDN (Mobile Station identifier- the telephone number) of the WAP terminal must always be sentusing the ISDN channel in order to personalize the WAP services and to generate additional, content-dependent billing information. Airtime Billing Billing of the base connection time (base rate for WAP online time) must always be performed bythe network carrier. Content billing moduleThe content billing module enables time- or event-based billing, depending on the requested content.This requires the following things:The content provider has a corresponding agreement with the network carrier and/ or the operator ofthe WAP Gateway to market the content. The content pages (billable) contain the corresponding billing information (in-band signaling). The authentication module delivers the phone number of the WAP user who has requested the chargeable page. A preliminary page can be displayed to notify users of chargeable content. This
way, users get to decide whether they want to request a certain page or not. The preliminary page is automatically generated by the proxy based on the fee information specified on the page. Network-internal WAP applications: In addition to external WAP services (on the content host or on the public Internet), network-internal WAP applications can be implemented. These applications are accessed by the WAP Gatewayusing a dedicated secure connection. 1. Detailed billing 2. Cost control 3. Management of voice mailbox 4. Rates information 5. Configuration module Over-The-Air (OTA) ServerFear of Viruses being transmitted via WAP: The mobile phone will follow a similar development path to PCs- with good ideas likescreensavers and bad ideas like computer viruses appearing on mobile phones such as they do on PCstoday. Solutions are being developed by various private companies to have a secure connection ….A cell-phone virus is basically the same thing as a computer -- an unwanted executable file that "infects"a device and then copies itself to other devices.Infected files usually show up disguised as applications like games
Applications for WAP: The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is being used to develop enhanced forms of existingapplications and new versions of today’s applications.The WAP will allow customers to easily reply to incoming information on the phone by allowing newmenus to access mobile services.Early applications are modification of existing applications such as information, along with applicationssuch as mobile commerce, mobile banking and mobile games. Mobile Commerce via WAP: Mobile commerce was born in 1997 when the first two mobile-phones enabled CocaCola vending machines were installed in the Helsinki area in Finland. The machines accepted paymentvia SMS text messages. The first mobile phone-based banking service was launched in 1997 by MeritaBank of Finland, also using SMS.Two major national commercial platforms for mobile commerce were launched in 1999: Smart Money(http://smart.com.ph/money/) in the Philippines, and NTT DoCoMos i-Mode Internet service in Japan. i-Mode offered a revolutionary revenue-sharing plan where NTT DoCoMo kept 9 percent of the fee userspaid for content, and returned 91 percent to the content owner.Mobile commerce applications involve using a mobile phone to carry out financial transactions.This usually means making a payment for goods or transferring funds electronically.
Transferring money between accounts and paying for purchases are electronic commerceapplications.There are several issues relating to the development of mobile commerce applications, such assecurity, integration with the retail and banking hardware and systems, non-standardizedmobile infrastructure and competing e-commerce standards. Additionally, there is a lack ofstandards relating to the mobile phone to network interface, the interfaces between host andmobile platforms and between different mobile platforms. As such, the scalability of mobilecommerce is questionable.There are also questions about the appropriateness of using a mobile phone as the interface toe-commerce applications. The MMI (Man Machine Interface) on mobile phones is currentlysub-optimal and difficult for mass-market users to manipulate.However, this area of electronic commerce applications is expected to contribute to growsignificantly in the future, as mobile phone penetration delivers a critical mass of potentialcustomers for such services.Conti…It is expected that the mobile commerce will become just an extension of electronic commerceon the Internet. There will not need to be any special applications developed for the mobile totake into account screen, bandwidth and security limitations of the mobile device.The value chain for mobile commerce took a step further in April 2000 with the announcementthat Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia had partnered to see mobile commerce standards. Thepossibility to handle trusted electronic transactions from a personal mobile device is regardedas one of the most important areas of the mobile Internet. As such, the aim of these companiesis to offer solutions where security and payment services will be integrated as a standard intothe mobile devices in years to come. Some of the key technology cornerstones will be WAPsecurity functions, such as WTLS (Wireless Transport Layer Security), WIM (WirelessIdentification Module), wireless public key technologies and others.
Mobile Banking via W.A.P. The successful implementation of mobile banking programs incorporates several different elementssuch as private information services, WAP and security.There are a few technology limits affecting how the mobile banking service is designed:Any information that is useful to bank customers can be provided such as last 4 transactions, accountbalances, overdraft limits and so on.Information can be provided in a number of different ways. It can be pull based and requested on anadhoc basis via a telephone call to an electronic voice menu to initiate the information. Alternatively,the user could send an information request in and get an information message back, or the service canbe push based such that information is automatically generated at set intervals or on the basis ofevents.
The mobile banking service can run on all existing mobile phones or to be tailored for a particularbranded phone or protocol-compliant phone, e.g. WAP.Protocols such as WAP allow not just information provision, but also secure mobile transactions andelectronic commerce.Mobile banking suppliers using WAP include Materna (www.materna.com). Banks offering services overWAP include Deutsche Bank and Visa International.Banking services using WAP from around the world include:In the UK, Woolwich company offered 100 of its customers interactive banking over a WAP enabledmobile phone. Using a Nokia 7110 handset, customers will be able to view balances and transactions,pay bills, and transfer money on current, savings and borrowing accounts. Games Games are a huge service that many people see as being a key application for future mobile devices. In the same way as music distribution will increasingly take place electronically, so too will games. Instead of having to go to the video store to rent a game or video, we can download this from an Internet site and charge this transaction to our mobile phone bill.Mobile games suppliers using WAP include:www.digitalbridges.com , http://www.wapholesun.com, www.k-mobile.com and others.
Ringtones Another emerging service is downloading ringtones. Ringtones are the tunes that the phoneplays when someone calls it. With the same phone often sold with the same default tune, it is importantfor phone users to be able to change their ringtone to distinguish it from others. Phones often comewith a range of different ringtones built into the phone�s memory that the users can choose from.However, it has become popular to download new ringtones from an Internet site to the phones. Thesetunes tend to be popular television of film theme tunes. Ringtones composers are also popular becausethey allow mobile phone users to compose their own unique ringtones. Expect to see this applicationgrow in availability and popularity over time! Internet Email
Upon receiving a new email in their mailboxes, most Internet email users do not get notified ofthis fact. They have to dial in speculatively and periodically to check their mailbox contents. However, bylinking Internet email with WAP Push, users can be notified whenever a new email is received.The Internet email alert is provided in the form of a short message that details the sender, the subjectfield and first few words of the email message. Most of the mobile Internet email solutions incorporatefiltering, such that users are only notified of certain messages with user-defined keywords in the subjectfield, or from certain senders.Because of the high and increasing usage of Internet email to communicate globally, and the benefitfrom using WAP Push to notify mobile users about important new email messages, this is likely to be afast growing and popular application for WAP. Affinity Programs Affinity programs are the result of collaboration between mobile carriers and other companiesin different industries with large customer groups. Affinity partners include television companies, sportsclubs, supermarkets, hotels, airlines, banks and other retailers. WAP can be used to provide customerswith all kinds of remainders and information such as frequent flyer miles status, overdue videotaperentals, appointment remainders and other notifications.Some examples of partners between companies in different areas of the mobile value chain to developWAP services include:
Hong Kong network operator Hutchison Telecom has joined with Health Care International Holdings tolaunch an online medical service portal, Healthcare2U.com. Subscribers to Hutchison�s network canaccess the medical portal via WAP phones.Finnair will enable passengers to make, alter and cancel reservations using WAP-enabled mobile phones.The service operates in English, but currently is only available to customers with Finnish phone serviceproviders.Ericsson announced a deal to make the guide Michelin travel publications available on WAP mobiletelephones. The new service will give the customers instant access to a database of some 60,000 hotelsand restaurants across Europe via WAP. Customer Service By providing mobile phone customers with information about their account, the WAP can help toavoid the need for expensive person to person voice calls to customer service centers.Customer service suppliers using WAP include Phone.com (www.phone.com) and Categoric(www.categoric.com). Categoric specializes in �event alerts�. Every time an event of interest to thecustomer happens, SMS or WAP are used to let them know. Positioning Positioning in mobile context can mean several things: location of vehicles or people or phones.Vehicle positioning application integrates satellite positioning systems that tell people where they arewith WAP which lets people tell others where they are. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a free-to-use global network of 24 satellites run by the US Department of Defense. Anyone with a GPS receivercan receive their satellite position and thereby find out where they are.
The SMS is ideal for sending GPS information such as longitude, latitude, bearing and altitude. GPSinformation is typically about 60-character length, leaving room for other vehicle-specific information.Vehicle Positioning suppliers using WAP include www.wapolution.com. Instant Messaging Instant messaging is a cross between chat and email that allows people to view a listing of peoplethey frequently communicate with, determine if these people are currently available for communication(i.e. online), and send and receive messages instantaneously. The tendency is to send instant messagesto people rather than emails if you find that they are online.Instant messaging was launched in early 1997 and continues to grow in popularity with over 100 milliontotal users.
Wireless Instant Messaging is another example of the extension of the same services that people canaccess on the Internet becoming increasingly available on mobile phones. This is initially done throughgateways that perform protocol conversion and reduce the size of the communication down to thatwhich can be handled by low bandwidth wireless services. Over time, the gateways will not be needed,as seamless access to unmodified services becomes more widespread.Instant Messaging suppliers using WAP include AOL Tegich (www.tegic.com). Chat can be distinguished from general information services by the information source: In chats, thesource of information is a person, whereas in general information services the source is usually inInternet site. The amount of information transferred per message tends to be lower with chat, wherepeople are more likely to state opinions rather than factual data. In the same way as Internet chatgroups have proven a very popular application for the Internet, groups of like-minded people � calledcommunities of interest � have begun to use non-voice mobile services as a means to chat,communicate and discuss.Because of its association with the Internet, the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) would allowmobile users to participate fully in existing Internet chat groups rather than setting up their own groupsthat are dedicated to mobile users. Qualitative Information A wide range of content can be delivered to mobile phone users ranging from share prices, sportsscores, weather, flight information, news headlines, lottery results, jokes and so on. This informationneed not necessary be textual, it may be maps or graphs or other types of visual information.
The length of a short message of 160 characters suffices for delivering information when it isquantitative such as a share price or a sports score or temperature. However, when the information is ofqualitative nature, such as a horoscope or news story, this 160-character length is too short. Therefore,GPRS will likely be used for qualitative information services, but SMS will continue to be used fordelivering most quantitative information services.Information services suppliers using WAP include Infospace.com, I3 Mobile and others.So , these were all about VAS(value added services via WAP) and marketing tools for companies toattract customers.
Future Prospects: WAP introduces several new concepts of the use of cellular phones, and new services thatcostumers can get. In a couple of years the 3rd generation of the cellular protocols will start to appearwith high capabilities of data transferring and will give another boost to WAP. Further more WAP hasmany advantages that handle the very problematic bearer of the wireless phone, but we should notforget WAP�s disadvantages such as some inefficacy and high cost of the services to the end user.Some of theses disadvantages will be overcome when the WAP will be used and installed in manyhandsets.WAP is an important development in the high-tech industry, network operators are aggressively tryingto speed up penetration of WAP phones around the glob, but WAP has still a way to go, there areseveral issues that need to be handled, and there is still some time till the Wireless Application Protocolwill be widely used in hand-sets. Time will show if WAP is capable to become the widespread customerused protocol.