"Vodafone today announces a number of additional UK partners to enrich the content of its Interactive and WAP Services, available now through the Vodafone WAP Gateway.
"Vodafone also announces the creation of its WAP Directory which will contain a list of the very latest sites which are accessible to customers with WAP compatible mobile phones and devices.
"Vodafone's Interactive and WAP mobile phone users will now be able to benefit from new services such partners such as WHSmith Online for buying books and CDs and accessing content such as bestseller lists, quizzes and educational reference material.
"Affinity Internet is providing games in addition to on-line store functionality with its electronic wallet and payment mechanisms. Psion and Paragon Software's synchronisation services manage personal information transfer between desktop, handheld devices and mobile phones.
"News and sport is being supplied by Independent Digital and BBC. Financial news will be provided by Warburg Dillon Read. Air and travel schedule information will be provided by OAG, while local or national weather news will come from the Meteorological Office.
"Some popular, lifestyle sites recently negotiated on behalf of Vodafone users are The Digital Village, providing access to H2G2.com (the on-line guide based on Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), and Excite mobile, Excite's personalisable WAP Service.
"Further new content and services that will be available for Vodafone Interactive and WAP customers will be announced shortly.
"Our partners will enable us to bring richer content and services to Vodafone's Interactive and WAP customers," commented Paul Donovan, Vodafone's Commercial and Marketing Director. "This is the beginning of a major shift in internet access from the fixed PC to the mobile phone in our customers' pockets. With the advent of m- commerce later this year customers will have a shopping centre at their fingertips." To make WAP services as easy to use as possible, and similar to regular web browsing, the Vodafone WAP Directory provides a direct click through from WAP mobile devices to any of the sites listed. The sites are listed by category and will include a wide range of independent sites as well as Vodafone and Vodafone partner sites. WAP services developers and companies world-wide are currently being offered free registration to the Vodafone WAP Directory. Developers need only complete the Directory Registration Form, which is available on the Vodafone Interactive site located at http://www.vodafone.net.
"Listings will include entertainment, shopping, travel, health, financials, news, sport and games.
"Ian Germer, Head of Vodafone UK's Internet Services explained: "The directory will help make our customers aware of the world of information available to them through their mobile phones as well as encouraging third parties to develop WAP compatible internet sites and services."