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Mountain View, CA, 01/02/01 - The conclusions of a recent report issued by the Nielsen Norman Consulting Group regarding the viability of WAP as a standard for accessing the Internet through mobile devices, are being challenged by the WAP Forum, a non-profit industry association devoted to the development of WAP specifications and dissemination of accurate information about the use and benefits of WAP.

After a review of the Nielsen Norman report, the WAP Forum believes the methodology employed in the survey and its subsequent findings is flawed. This particular report, based on only 20 users, lacks the basis on which to draw any meaningful conclusions. As a result, this study perpetuates unfair and unwarranted criticisms, and false assumptions about WAP.

The WAP Forum believes that the studys authors would have received a more accurate reading on the usability of WAP had they spoken with 20 of the 8 million current WAP subscribers. In the UK the location of the survey -- BT Cellnet alone has more than 500,000 WAP subscribers (each one generating US$160/year in additional revenue through WAP usage) almost triple the number they had just 5 months ago. Alternatively, the authors could have spoken with any of the millions of subscribers using EZWeb in Japan, or from any of the other dozens of operators that have deployed WAP-based technology worldwide.

The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a standard for wireless access to the Internet via cellular phones, PDAs and other mobile devices. The WAP Forum comprises more than 600 companies worldwide. WAP is the only open, non-proprietary wireless standard. Its base of developers, content, phones, and carriers is huge, global, and growing. Members of the WAP Forum built the standard by consensus, so that interoperability among devices and between bearers is assured.

The WAP Forum appreciates the opportunity to address these issues and present evidence of WAPs acceptance by companies and individuals around the world.
One Fortune 500 company allows customers to track packages on WAP devices, thus saving the company money and significant customer service resources by reducing the volume of incoming calls. Another company that provides wireless entertainment has received over 15 million hits on its WAP site and has had more than 350,000 game-plays on their site in Italy alone. There are literally hundreds of examples of successful WAP implementations.

If you would like to schedule a one-on-one conversation with a representative from the WAP Forum, please contact Mia Canrinus, Porter Novelli, at [email protected] or (415) 975-2257.