) today announced that Gregory G. Williams, vice president of wireless systems for SBC Technology Resources, Inc., is the new board chairman of the Forum. In this role, Williams will set the Forumís strategy for furthering WAPís prominence as the open, global standard for Internet communications on wireless devices. Chuck Parrish, executive vice president of Phone.com, has been elected vice chairman, after serving a one-year term as chairman. The WAP Forum Board of Directors approved the elections as well as the creation of a new Associate Member category at the Forumís members meeting in San Francisco earlier this month, which featured a record attendance of more than 550 representatives.
The new Associate Member category is designed to enable content and service providers, application developers, tool vendors and non-infrastructure industry suppliers greater participation in the Forum and development of WAP. The category provides full working group participation and intellectual property rights access at a reduced membership fee.
"I am very grateful to the Board for giving me the opportunity to lead such a growing and thriving organization like the WAP Forum at this important time in its history," said Mr. Williams. "Under the participative leadership and vision provided by Chuck Parrish, WAP has achieved world-class status. My job will be to work with the WAP Forum Board and creative technical staff to grow the organization, and achieve our vision of WAP enabling new and exciting services for all wireless consumers."
The Forum also announced that 20 additional companies have joined as new members in the last month, including Hitachi, Palm Computing, Sun Microsystems and WirelessKnowledge, increasing total membership to more than 125 corporations around the globe. A complete membership listing and application for the new Associate Member category are available on the WAP Forum Web site (
"Palm Computing is pleased to join the WAP Forum as a part of our overall wireless strategy to promote widespread mobile access to Internet content," said Mark Bercow, vice president of strategic alliances and platform development at Palm Computing, Inc., a 3Com company. "Weíre looking forward to working with the Forum to define WAP specifications, drawing on Palmís experience as a leader in the mobile computing market. Also, we will explore potential synergies between Palmís web clipping architecture and the WAP standard with the goal of expanding opportunities for the wireless industry. Palm is committed to supporting WAP in future releases of the Palm Computing platform for use by our licensees in the wireless telecommunications market."
"Sun Microsystems is excited about joining the WAP Forum, with two main objectives in mind," said William Yeager, senior engineer and WAP team leader at Sun Microsystems. "The first is to work with the WAP Forum on the convergence of the WAP protocol suite with IETF, W3C and Java standards. The second goal is to support our product groups which wish to profit from the revenue expected to be generated by the near-term sales of millions of WAP-enabled handsets, PDAs and their associated services."
Highlights from San Francisco Meeting
The WAP Forumís members meeting in San Francisco was highlighted by productive meetings with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to define next-generation Internet specifications for the wired and wireless domains, discussion of the early success of wireless carriers deploying information services, and several WAP technology demonstrations at a media/analyst lunch with the WAP Forum Board of Directors.
More than 150 content developers attended a WAP Developerís Symposium, sponsored by the WAP Forum and IBC Conferences. The symposium ran concurrent with the WAP Forumís San Francisco meeting and featured presentations and workshops led by many WAP Forum representatives. Another 50 content developers participated in the WAP Developer Group sessions at the San Francisco meeting, in order to exchange ideas and build requirements into WAP applications based on their knowledge of consumer demands. The groupís goal is to speed the acceptance of WAP-based products in the mass market.
"The new WAP Developer Group represents a broad base of developers worldwide who are creating compelling applications that will take advantage of the WAP standard, such as stock trading, mapping applications, weather forecasts, corporate e-mail and intranet solutions, and other interactive content," said Mr. Williams. "Their growing involvement in the Forum will be key to the success of WAP going forward."
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 100 million subscribers worldwide have joined WAP. These commitments will put 10ís of millions of WAP-browser-enabled products in consumer hands by the end of 2000. WAP Forum membership is open to all industry participants. For further details on the Forum and its members, please visit the Forumís Web site at