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Wireless Hardware and Software Providers, Network Operators and Content Developers Set to Release WAP V1.1-Ready Products and Services in 1999

San Francisco – (June 30, 1999) – The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum (www.wapforum.org) today announced the release of the WAP Version 1.1 specifications, a newly enhanced version of the mobile Internet standard that will enable the rapid commercial deployment of WAP-ready products and services worldwide. Using WAP V1.1, users of digital mobile phones and other wireless devices will be able to securely access and instantly interact with Internet/intranet information and advanced telephony services. The announcement was made in conjunction with the WAP Forum’s members meeting, June 27-July 2, in San Francisco. Representatives from 120 WAP Forum member companies from across the globe have joined together at the meeting to advance the development of WAP and build relationships with other industry organizations to ensure that future Internet standards address the needs of low power, low memory wireless devices.

WAP Version 1.1 provides handset manufacturers with a common global platform and a richer service offering to both consumers and carriers. Network operators can differentiate themselves through new WAP-compliant value-added services and enhancements to existing voicemail and email services. Infrastructure providers and content developers benefit from an expanded market for their products and services. Consumer and business users of WAP-ready mobile devices will have near anytime, anywhere access to information.

Enhancements included in the WAP Version 1.1 specifications include:

  • Localization and internationalization support to create one worldwide standard for mobile Internet communications
  • Static conformance statements required for interoperability testing to ensure that the new generation of WAP-compliant networks, products and services work together
  • Enhanced client side state model and added support for a caching mechanism in the user agent to provide better performance over limited bandwidth bearer networks and reduce over-the-air traffic
  • Support for CDMA Short Message Service (SMS) and circuit switched bearers to expand the number of WAP-compliant airlink protocols
  • Resolution of technical issues and ambiguities in the WAP V1.0 specifications to make WAP a commercially-deployable technology standard
  • “WAP Version 1.1 will make mobile devices first-class citizens of the Internet,” said Chuck Parrish, WAP Forum board chairman. “It’s clear that WAP has been adopted as the open, global standard for Internet communications on wireless terminals, as evidenced by the backing of Version 1.1 by the 120 companies in the Forum and a wealth of application developers and content providers. The limit of products and services set to take advantage of WAP will only be set by our imaginations.”
  • To ensure interoperability of WAP products, the WAP Forum has contracted The Open Group (www.opengroup.org) to develop a test suite to support a certification program for WAP V1.1 conforming clients and servers. The test suite is focused on the Wireless Markup Language (WML) application layer specifications, but also includes tests for the underlying communication protocols. According to James de Raeve, director of conformance for The Open Group, “We are delighted that the WAP Forum has tapped our expertise in open systems testing and certification, and are confident that together we will be able to ensure the successful and rapid deployment of interoperable WAP products.”

WAP Forum is also actively working with a wide variety of standards organizations and industry fora on the promotion and development of technical standards, with the goal of enabling Internet communications and advanced telephony services from digital mobile phones, pagers and other wireless terminals. WAP is collaborating with ARIB, CDG, ECMA, ETSI, TIA, W3C and other industry bodies to ensure that future technical specifications from all organizations meet the needs of this device category.

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 90 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 10’s of millions of WAP-browser-enabled products in consumer hands by the end of 2000. WAP Forum membership is open to all industry participants.

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