MOMENTUM FOR WIRELESS APPLICATION
PROTOCOL CONTINUES TO SURGE: - Membership of the WAP Forum Surpasses 300
- Members Showcase a Wealth of WAP products in Rome
Rome - (9 February, 2000) - The number of mobile phone customers is expected to reach 500 million worldwide by 2003, with 75 percent of all mobile phones Internet-enabled by that time, according to the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum, which is today hosting representatives from the worlds leading technology companies at a meeting in Rome.
Representatives from more than 300 WAP Forum member companies around the world are meeting for the first time this year to discuss methods to advance the development of WAP technology. The purpose of the meetings is to ensure that users of portable devices can securely access, and instantly interact with, Internet/intranet information and other forms of wireless data through cross-industry interoperability.
Interoperability is a key issue for WAP Forum members. During much of last year, the WAP Forum worked with a third party, an independent testing service (The Open Group(tm)), to develop automated tests to ensure wireless vendors products are meeting the WAP specifications and to develop and manage certification of their products. This testing is now being implemented with full participation by the vendor community.
"WAP is a global effort to design an open and uniform standard so all developers, carriers and content providers have the assurance of one programming model and language for developing applications," said Scott Goldman, WAP Forum CEO. "Over the past few years, the availability of different concepts for transmitting information to and from mobile devices caused market fragmentation. WAP is a consistent, global standard that will allow our members to bring innovative wireless products and services more quickly to the market," he added.
The WAP Forum has recently enjoyed a dramatic increase in membership, with more than 1000 developers committed to WAP and 50 new members joining the association since last December, leading membership to surpass 300.
Mr. Goldman said that the increase in membership meant that the Rome meeting is the largest gathering the Forum has ever held. "This is a clear sign of the momentum WAP has generated globally. WAP technology is ideal for markets such as Italy, where the high number of mobile phone customers means consumers can benefit from Internet access directly via their handheld devices," he added.
WAP Forum membership is open to all industry participants, and the groups members represent the majority of the leading players in the global communications technology sector. Handset manufacturers representing 95 per cent of the world market have committed to shipping WAP-enabled devices, while carriers representing more than 150 million customers internationally have also joined WAP.
New members include:
American Express TRS Co., Inc.
Compaq Computer Corporation
KG Telecommunications Co., Ltd.
Mitsui & Co, Ltd.
NTRU Cryptosystems, Inc.
Time/system International a/s
Categoric Software Limited
Dansk Data Elektronik A/S
Dialogue Communications Limited
Hummingbird Communications Ltd.
Intrinsic Technology Limited (Shanghai)
JP Systems, Inc.
Macalla Software Ltd.
NCC Services, Ltd.
Oven Digital, Inc.
Plumtree Software Inc.
Solid Information Technology, Ltd.
Surrey & City Consulting
Telecommunications Systems, Inc.
Wireless Data Services, Ltd.
Zsigo Wireless Training
Meanwhile, in a separately held media event Wednesday, in Romes Villa Miani, dozens of member companies showcased WAP Version 1.1 compliant products to leading print and broadcast industry writers and analysts. The latest enhancement of the specification, WAP Version 1.2, released in December 1999, is designed to further enable the rapid commercial deployment of WAP-ready products worldwide.
With WAP technology, consumer and business users of wireless devices have access to mobile media services, such as:
§ Banking, share trading and other financial transactions
§ News, sports and weather information
§ Driving directions and traffic reports
§ Air, rail and other travel schedules, along with the capability to book itineraries
§ Event, cinema and show schedules, as well as the capability to book these events
§ E-mail and corporate intranet access
§ Value-added wireless services such as account billing and customer care applications.
A recent study by the Gartner Group also predicted mobile and wireless technologies would be the main driver in e-commerce solutions over the next few years. This finding was coupled with a study showing that more than 95 per cent of new mobile phones are expected to be WAP enabled within the next five years.
About the WAP Forum
The WAP Forum is an industry association that has developed the de-facto world standard for wireless information and telephony services on digital mobile phones and other wireless terminals. Handset manufacturers representing 95 percent of the world market across all technologies have committed to shipping WAP-enabled devices. Carriers representing more than 150 million customers worldwide have joined WAP. WAP Forum membership is open to all industry participants.
For further details on the WAP Forum and its members, please visit www.wapforum.org. The Web site also includes a downloadable version of WAP V1.1.
WAP and all WAP-based marks are worldwide trademarks or registered trademarks of Wireless Application Protocol Forum Ltd.
For further information, please contact:
Global Public Relations
Tel (US) +1 972 506 9687
European Account Director,
Porter Novelli International
Tel: +32 2 280 1790
Fax: 32 2 280 1790
Mobile:+ 32 75 703183