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Wireless Application Protocol Forum membership surpasses 100 companies

Microsoft, MapQuest.com Among List of New Members Adopting WAP Standard

WAP Specification Development Progresses at Members Meeting in Montreux, Switzerland Plans Set for Next Meeting in SanFrancisco

Mountain View, Calif. – (June 14, 1999) – The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum (www.wapforum.org) today announced that 30 technology companies from around the world have become members since the beginning of 1999, bringing the current total membership to 108. New members include computer industry leader Microsoft Corporation and advanced mapping systems leader MapQuest.com, as well as numerous network operators and telecom software and hardware vendors from around the globe. Other current members include leading handset manufacturers, infrastructure providers, software developers and other organizations providing solutions to the wireless industry.

WAP is the de-facto worldwide standard for providing Internet communications and advanced telephony services on digital mobile phones, pagers, personal digital assistants and other wireless terminals. The WAP Forum was formed in December 1997 by Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Phone.com (formerly Unwired Planet). The charter of the WAP Forum is to bring together service providers, handset and infrastructure manufacturers, Internet content provider and application developers to ensure interoperability and growth of wireless Internet-based services.

New Members of the WAP Forum

For a complete list of WAP Forum members, please visit the WAP Forum Web site at www.wapforum.org/who/members.htm.

"WAP momentum is increasing as we continue to broaden our membership with representation from all corners of the computer, Internet and telecommunications industries," said Chuck Parrish, WAP Forum board chairman and executive vice president of Phone.com (formerly Unwired Planet, Inc.), a founding Forum member. "Content developers are excited about WAP’s capability to take their programs and services into the wireless domain and make them available anytime, anywhere for the mobile user. The Forum is extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made this year, and we look forward to the rollout of commercial WAP products and services in the months ahead."

New Members Support WAP Standard

"Microsoft and the WAP Forum share a common vision of providing access to Internet information from mobile devices," said Harel Kodesh, vice president of the Productivity Appliances Division at Microsoft. "We look forward to working with the Forum members to reach convergence of the WAP specification with those of the W3C and IETF. We are working to add WAP support to our products and are committed to supporting the WAP specification in the next release of the Microsoft microbrowser."

"MapQuest.com’s commitment to the WAP Forum stems from our 30 year heritage as a map provider. After making the seamless transition from printed maps to online mapping, we see WAP-enabled devices as the natural next-step in bringing maps and driving directions to the mobile customer world wide," said Michael Nappi, vice president, business solutions for MapQuest.com. "Today at MapQuest.com, our Internet service delivers in excess of 120 maps per second with unlimited room for expansion provided by our proprietary, fully scalable technology infrastructure. This market-proven technology ensures that MapQuest.com is positioned to meet the demand of end users accessing our map and driving direction services from mobile communicators."

"Nextel pledges its support of the WAP standard in all its next-generation digital phones to be available later this year," said Mike Ozburn, vice president and general manager of Nextel Online. "We are fully behind creating a global wireless protocol specification and are very proud to be joining others in the WAP Forum."

Highlights from Montreux Meeting

In April, more than 325 participants in the WAP Forum gathered in Montreux, Switzerland, to develop enhancements to the protocol and relationships with other industry groups to expand the reach of the specification. Members of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) Mobile Execution Environment (MExE) attended the meeting and participated in technical workshops, with the intention of evolving next-generation Internet standards to better meet the requirements of future wireless network technologies. The Forum chartered a Multimedia Experts Group to investigate the support of multimedia applications in the WAP framework. In addition, the Forum resolved final fixes and issues with the WAP Version 1.1 specifications, which are being voted on and approved by the membership this month.

San Francisco Meeting Registration Open

The WAP Forum also announced that its next meeting will be held June 27 through July 2 in San Francisco. Members can register for this meeting at http://www1.wapforum.org/meetings/members-sanfran.htm. In the two weeks prior to the San Francisco meeting, various WAP Forum members will demonstrate their support of the WAP standard in their booths at CDMA World Congress in Hong Kong and CommunicAsia in Singapore.