WAP Forum advances toward Net standards

The next major version of WAP, a protocol for providing Internet-based data services on mobile phones, will complete a migration to XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language) and TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) as the foundation of the technology, which will make it easier for developers to write WAP applications, said Michael Short, director of international affairs and strategy at BTCellnet, and a member of the WAP Forum Board of Directors.

The group, which has more than 580 member companies and hosted about 700 delegates at a two-day conference this week, is also making progress toward enabling additional services on WAP devices, according to Scott Goldman, chief executive officer of the WAP Forum. In addition to animation, streaming media and music downloads, WAP will also display color graphics, provide location-specific content and allow users to synchronise information with personal information manager software on a desktop PC in a remote location.

Goldman painted WAP, which has been labeled a transitional technology because of its slow performance and rudimentary display, as a vital technology even for the upcoming age of third-generation (3G) wireless communications. The 384Kbps that 3G will deliver to roving users will be shared bandwidth, so each user typically will get only 20Kbps to 30Kbps throughput to a mobile device anyway, Goldman said.

"Not everyone will be able to use all that bandwidth. It'll be divided up, and you need WAP to make the most of that bandwidth," Goldman said. "We welcome 3G," he added.

Goldman also defended WAP as a secure way to send and receive personal information and messages.

"We know that WAP is secure and we know it's becoming more secure, because we've added end-to-end encryption" from the mobile device to the server, Goldman said. Encryption capability is written into the specification for WAP, he said.

In answer to questions about the much-maligned practice by some mobile operators of blocking access to WAP sites outside their own and their partners' sites, WAP Forum executives said the practice was bound to be squeezed out by more universal offerings.

However, BTCellnet's Short said there are some practical reasons for taking this "walled garden" approach. The approach makes it easier to ensure security, control spam e-mail, carry out billing and account for use of the content provided, Short said.

"People who provide content can get paid," he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?