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Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola welcome evolution of WAP standard
Posted: 01-Aug-2001 [Source: Ericsson press release]

[New WAP 2.0 protocol based on widely accepted Internet standards will further advance mobile services ]

Stockholm, Espoo, Schaumburg -- Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola today announce their support of the newest version of the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) standard, WAP 2.0, as developed by the WAP ForumTM. The companies also express their intention to develop products, content, and services based on the new standard.

The new generation of the WAP specification together with improved handsets and other wireless devices ensure a much better development environment for advanced mobile services. Based on well-established Internet standards including TCP and HTTP as well as the necessary components specifically adapted for wireless environments, WAP 2.0 will provide a simple, yet powerful tool-kit for easy development and deployment of a multitude of useful and exciting new services.

WAP 2.0 has adopted XHTML Basic as the base for its mark-up language. XHTML, developed by the World-Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is the language that will be used to create all content, regardless of whether it is intended for the fixed Internet or the mobile phone world. By narrowing the gap between wired and wireless content, XHTML greatly accelerates the pace at which services can be created and improves the usability of wireless services for consumers.

Other Internet standards that have been adopted in WAP 2.0 include Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Transport Layer Security (TLS), HTTP and TCP. By specifying how these standards are best used in a wireless environment a better user-experience is achieved. The richer content and multimedia services that will be available in 2.5G/3G networks are going to be based on these and similar standards and will therefore integrate seamlessly with WAP technology.

The release of WAP 2.0 includes the first release of Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS), a service developed jointly together with 3GPP, which allows users to send multimedia messages, combining sounds with images and text, to each other in a fashion similar to sending SMS.

Additionally, WAP 2.0 further evolves WAP Push, which can be used for services such as online auctions, where it is important for users to receive information at the point of interest (i.e., the moment something interesting happens), rather than being forced to actively look for the information.

Due to the fact that WAP 2.0 is an open and interoperable standard, it will be a very valuable component in any future mobile service offering. The companies believe that the GSM Association will also benefit greatly from including WAP 2.0 as one of its cornerstones when defining future versions of its M-services initiative.

"Ericsson is proud to have contributed from start to finish to the new WAP 2.0 standard," says Lars Boman, head of Ericsson Mobile Internet Applications. "The introduction of well-known and established Internet standards, such as XHTML, will ensure compatibility with content available on the Internet. Together with new functionality, such as multimedia messaging, it opens up new possibilities for operators and content developers. Our focus is as always to create user-friendly products that facilitate these new services."

"The work of the WAP Forum has brought us a good and solid set of standards from which we can start developing the next generation of mobile services. Technologies such as XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets will be key in delivering high quality user experience and excitement, which are the essential ingredients of success in the market," said Aage Snorgaard, Vice President, Nokia Mobile Phones. "Together with the other industry leaders, we are committed to cooperation and open standards creation in order to drive the global and open market place for mobile applications and services."

"Motorola is proud to have contributed to the development of WAP 2.0" stated Janiece Webb Senior Vice President and General Manager of Motorola's Internet Software and Content Group. "We are excited about the new applications and services that will be possible with the many enhancements and additions this release provides. These new features, such as multimedia messaging, will permit us and our customers to deliver valued services to the wireless community."

Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola co-founded the WAP ForumTM together with Unwired Planet (now Openwave) in 1997 and the forum has since grown to more than 450 members, representing manufacturers, carriers and content developers from all parts of the world. The primary goal of the WAP Forum is to bring together companies from all segments of the wireless industry value chain to ensure product interoperability and growth of the wireless market.

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