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Vodafone AirTouch Runs First Global WAP Pilot
Posted: 03-May-2000 [Source: Vodafone press release]

[A global WAP roaming trial (UK, US, and Netherlands) is being conducted by Vodafone AirTouch with Ernst & Young.]

London -- Vodafone AirTouch has today announced the start of the world's first international WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) trial. The pilot scheme, in operation with Vodafone's first global customer, Ernst & Young, one of the world's leading business and financial advisers, is being conducted by Vodafone AirTouch group companies, Vodafone UK, Libertel in the Netherlands and Verizon Wireless (the newly combined AirTouch /Bell Atlantic company) in the US.

Under the pilot, 10 Ernst & Young partners and staff from each of the three countries, the UK, US and the Netherlands have been equipped with WAP enabled mobile phones. Whether they are in their home country or roaming abroad, using their WAP handsets the triallists are able to access WAP based information from the Ernst & Young data network, giving them access to their office Lotus Notes and personal calendar, address and email functions. By using the Vodafone Airtouch WAP service, requests are forwarded via a Vodafone Airtouch WAP gateway, over the internet to the Ernst & Young content server. This returns WAP compatible content back over the internet and via the Vodafone Airtouch WAP gateway to the user's WAP handset.

"This important global trial is another very significant step towards the implementation of our global account strategy, enabling our multinational customers to work with Vodafone AirTouch on a world-wide level with local account and customer service support in each country," commented Jeremy Forword, Vodafone AirTouch Global Commercial Director. "This is the world's first global WAP service and marks another significant step towards Vodafone AirTouch's aim of becoming the world's leading mobile multimedia company. The close synergy and co-operation between Vodafone AirTouch networks and the introduction of our global internet platform in July of this year means that our global customers are set to gain even more benefits."

"As a client driven, globally operating organisation, the possibilities being presented by these technologies to our mobile workforce can significantly improve the efficiency with which we operate and have important bearings for the future telecommunications plans of Ernst & Young, particularly mobile data communication," Ernst & Young's Bill Egan commented.

Bill Egan, who is responsible for Ernst & Young's global telephony services, continued, "As we explore all aspects of mobility at the global level, we are delighted to be taking a pioneering role in adopting the very latest mobile technology and implementing the world's first global WAP trial with Vodafone AirTouch. The ability to remotely and simply access our office systems is a crucial requirement for many of our staff, and with this pilot we will now be able to test this using the WAP handsets which could eventually enable us to provide an even better service for our customers."

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