WAP Strategy
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This section deals with setting up WAP sites….


WAP stands for the Wireless Applications Protocol (WAP). WAP technology opens up the possibilities of combining web surfing elements and mobile phone media. The WAP marketing strategies of the mobile phone/network companies promotes the impression of full web browsing, however the reality is only that limited text messages with simple graphics can only be displayed.

Most mobile network operators predict over 1/2 million users of WAP enabled devices by the end of  2000. With far greater users of WAP enabled devices expected over the next few years.

The current cost of using a WAP enabled site, is quite expensive, prices vary from one mobile phone network to another. The current problem is the slow transmission speeds of the current mobile phone models this will improve as newer models arrive onto the marketplace.

WAP technology and acceptance is in a similar position to the internet of the early 1990’s, when connection speeds were slow, security risks high and the general content limited to a few web sites, but looked what happened there!

With WAP phone standards being such a new platform, initial problems incurred by various WAP sites include some sites only working on certain brands of mobile phones. These initial problems should be resolved in the future with newer WAP software standards.

Nearly all the biggest mobile phone manufacturers have committed to the WAP standard and have begun delivering mobile phones equipped into the marketplace. In the current digital mobile phone standard, WAP enabled devices are the only way you’ll get internet access on a mobile phone.

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The standard for WAP scripts is called Wireless Markup Language (WML). WML is very similar to HTML, the main difference is that it does not yet fully support graphics, you cannot view HTML documents in VML. From a design perspective on a normal web sites you would have pages linked to the homepage. In a WAP environment, the terminology you would have cards/decks linked to the homepage.

Building a WAP site would be the same as building a normal website in the sense that you would use the WML editor to create a WAP site then up-load the files to your web host. You do need to ensure that your web host can support ‘WML MIME’ types prior to up-loading.

Please view following web sites for further information




Forum of 200 members set up to create the WAP standard.


WAP Software Development Kits.


Tools for WAP Game Designers.


Object Programming Tools


Ericsson WAP IDE



 www.nokia.com Nokia WAP Toolkit



 www.yospace.com Free Emulator For Unix, Mac or Windows
 www.rcp.co.uk Plug In For Photoshop Graphics



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Current WAP software is limited in use by the practical hardware restraints of current mobile. Current WAP enabled mobile phones vary from a small browser to text only functions for viewing information and sending text only e-mails.

The biggest problem in designing any application for a WAP phone is the current WAP enabled phones themselves. This is because the mobile phone screens are so small you can only view a limited amount of information. The result is that the business uses of WAP are limited at present to information services, some suggested uses for WAP sites include:

·         Sports Information  -  www.waparesult.com/index.wml   

·         Club/Society Information  

·         Games

·         News  -   see www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/mainmenu.wml

·         On-line Gambling  -  see www.iwirelessgames.com/index.wml

·         On-line Shopping   - see www.amazon.com/phone

·         Personal Banking  

·         Travel Information  -  see www.somewherenear.com

·         Search Engines  - see www.wap.yahoo.co.uk

It’s hard to see revenue for information services being generated unless it comes from making a charge for service usage, or from corporate sponsorship. The main area for business to benefit from WAP services would be from selling products and services over a mobile phone.


Although the WAP standard will be around for the next few years it will fade in its use unless mobile phone manufacturers don’t start making phones which have larger screens and graphic browsing capabilities.

Some manufacturers are developing improved WAP machines, expect the standard to keep growing over the next few years. But be aware of the future!

The major mobile phone manufacturers are gearing up for the next generation of mobile phone networks the third generation (3G). 3G mobile phones will start arriving inside the next three years, these phones will provide full browsing, e-mail, video mail, and office based applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, etc.

SYMBIAN - The name given to a recently formed company, a joint venture between Motorola, Ericsson, and Psion, the aim of this company has been to develop the software standard for mobile computers. This standard by the virtue of the companies involved will be a platform for the next generation of mobile phones.

MICROSOFT – Not to be outdone in this field, Microsoft have updated their Windows CE software to Pocket PC software which is aimed to allow mobile machines to interconnect with windows software, expect this software standard to have a presence.  

i-MODE - This is relatively surprising newcomer from Japan. Expect to hear a lot about this system in the future, there are eight million subscribers in Japan. The system works by charging a subscription rate in return, users get a permanent internet connection. Future developments of the system include transmitting movies and real time music, sounds  good!.

OTHERS – Because of the potential of the next generation of mobile phones, there will undoubtedly be a whole host of other companies trying to establish a software platform.

The WAP standard should be seen as the foundation for the next generation, expect it to be around in the new platform in some shape or form.


There will undoubtedly be a two level mobile phone system in the future, one will be the existing digital mobile phones, whilst the other will be the new 3G phones.

If you decide to build a WAP site, then please ensure that you site runs as quickly as possible, a slow site will put users off.

If your business wishes to expand into the WAP mobile phone market, but is put off by the fact that the technological standard will be very short term, do not be put off from building web services for this environment. The WAP environment will remain for at least 3-5 years, investing time and money into by building a web site geared to WAP applications will give you and edge once the new software platform for 3G phones is firmly established.





Symbian - The company itself


Symbian Development Network - Help with building software


Mexe Java – Another 3G software platform



Further mexe information

(c) eCommerce-Now.com  Est 08/00 - Last Updated 28/05//2001