WIRELESS APPLICATION PROTOCOL (WAP)
handy mobile phone of yours is on its way to becoming a multipurpose
super gizmo. You will not only be able to communicate with people
around the worsld with it but surf the entire net too - anytime,
anywhere! Incredible, but true. That's what WAP [Wireless Application
Protocol] is all about.
WAP, the most happening technology in the field of communication,
is targeting people on the move. If the Internet goes mobile,
the range of applications that WAP can provide is almost unbelievable.
Starting from the usual e-mail sending and receiving services,
the WAP holder has the net (in text form) at his/her fingertips.
Right now, screen being the limitation, WAP enables the user
to have the net in text form only. Some WAP phones viz., NOKIA
7110,ALACTEL One touch, SIEMENS S25, ERRICSON T36, SONY and
palmtops like SIEMENS IC35 and ERRICSON MC218 provide an access
to the net. As screen is the limiting factor for these tiny
devices, a lot more R&D has to be done in this area.
The Indian saga of WAP enabled Internet Service Providing started
a year ago. That is when both the Internet and mobile phone
services started to boom on the Indian corporate scene. By then
both of them must have identified the other's potential. Consequently,
the two services thought of joining hands.
When mobile operators like TATA Cellular (in Andhra Pradesh)
went public to announce WAP enabled phones, other operators
like Orange, AirTel, and Aircell also decided to provide such
devices. Cell phone users in cities like Mumbai, Chennai and
Hyderabad who are enabled with the WAP services, are provided
with stock updates, air/rail timings and breaking news. These
service providers might be just a few steps ahead of many other
mobile service providers who will soon be following in their
footsteps with the required set-up in the months to come.
Is it possible to go online if one has a WAP compatible phone
in hand? At present, no. The WAP phone user can only login to
a site that is also a WAP browser. Other browsers can be downloaded
to any PC but not a WAP browser. Also, mobile phone vendors
have not assured any strategy that can make the existing phone
compatible with a WAP service. Even if all the constraints are
overcome, price will limit the user base. Quoted from Rs 9,000
upwards, WAP phones are as expensive as Rs 30,000. Though India
is lagging behind Japan, USA and other countries at present,
it is a land of opportunities that can reap enormous benefits
from the WAP revolution in the coming years.
|- Charan C S