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CONTENTS: Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) | Focus on WAP usability | WML - Wireless Markup Language | WAP resources | WAP-based technologies | WAP-based applications and services | WAP security | Wireless Multimedia Forum | Mobile web | Wireless communications | Bluetooth | Digital Enhanced Telecommunication Standard (DECT) | Location Interoperability Forum | The SyncML Initiative | Other resources and mobile applications | Developing wireless web apps. | Mobile market trends | Wireless resources | Wireless industry newsletter
The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum is a vendor dominated consortium developing the architecture for the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). The architecture, available at the Forum website, includes specifications for network transport and session layers and security features. In addition an application environment is defined, including: a microbrowser, scripting, telephony value-added services and content formats.
The intention is to use the architecture to provide services across a broad range of terminal types, ranging from single-line text displays in standard digital mobile phones to highly sophisticated smart phone displays. The Forum intends that a global wireless service specification based on their draft will be adopted by the "appropriate" standards bodies.
An open testing lab on the web is available for performing interoperability testing between products supporting the WAP specification. Access to the lab is open to any WAP Forum member company, with tests being based on the defined Forum interoperability guidelines. The Interoperability Lab can be contacted at the mail address below.
URL: Wireless Application Protocol Forum http://www.wapforum.org
URL: introduction to WAP http://www.unwiredplanet.com/pub/111398_WAP_V1whitepaper.pdf
URL: interoprability testing mailto:email@example.com
URL: Ericsson http://www.ericsson.com/
URL: Motorola http://www.motorola.com/
URL: Nokia http://www.nokia.com/
URL: Unwired Planet http://www.uplanet.com/
Jakob Nielsen's latest Alertbox essay (July 9, 2000) is now online, and reports that: "experience with WAP in Europe shows that it is hard to use. Because of the miserable usability of the small phones, services must be re-designed for each handset, increasing maintenance costs".
Visit the site to read the essay and also to subscribe to an email alerter service. 19/07/00
Usability guru Jakob Nielsen's latest Alertbox essay headlines with "following a field study, 70 per cent of users decided not to continue using WAP". Nielsen claims that current WAP services are poorly designed, have insufficient task analysis, and abuse existing non-mobile design guidelines. He concludes that "WAP's killer app. is killing time and m-commerce's prospects are dim for the next several years". 15/12/00
See also the Standards and Telecommunications Topic pages.
WML is based on on eXtensible Markup Language (XML), and a contributor to the XML developers list has published a very simple tutorial concerning WML on the web. The tutorial explains features of the markup, demonstrates its use with a simple emulation of PDA device, and provides examples. See the specification document on the WAP Forum page.
WML specification http://www.wapforum.org/what/technical/SPEC-WML-19990616.pdf
The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum have released the WAP Version 1.1 specifications, providing handset manufacturers with a common global standard on which to develop Internet and intranet enabled devices. Enhancements in the Version 1.1 specifications include:
- localisation and internationalisation support to create one worldwide standard for mobile Internet communications;
- static conformance statements required for interoperability testing to ensure that the new generation of WAP-compliant networks, products and services work together;
- enhanced client side state model and added support for a caching mechanism in the user agent to provide better performance over limited bandwidth bearer networks and reduce over-the-air traffic;
- support for CDMA Short Message Service (SMS) and circuit switched bearers to expand the number of WAP-compliant airlink protocols;
- resolution of technical issues and ambiguities in the WAP V1.0 specifications to make WAP a commercially-deployable technology standard.
URL: WML specification http://www.wapforum.org/what/technical/SPEC-WML-19990616.pdf
To ensure interoperability of WAP products, the WAP Forum has contracted The Open Group to develop a test suite to support a certification programme for WAP V1.1 conforming clients and servers. The test suite is focused on the Wireless Markup Language (WML) application layer specifications, but also includes tests for the underlying communication protocols.
URL: WAP Forum http://www.wapforum.org
URL: Open Group http://www.opengroup.org
ETSI and the WAP Forum have signed a cooperation agreement to drive for interoperability of standards for wireless mobile Internet. The agreement underlines the importance being placed on standardisers and commercial fora/associations to create global wireless protocol specifications that will work across different wireless technologies, including GSM and UMTS. The WAP Forum is hoping that the cooperation will lead to Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) becoming the defacto worldwide standard for mobile Internet.
URL: WAP Forum http://www.wapforum.org/
URL: ETSI http://www.etsi.org/
The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have announced a formal liaison relationship to define next-generation web specifications that support the full participation of wireless devices on the World Wide Web.
The WAP Forum and W3C are working together to develop a common process of producing next-generation, XML-based Web specifications, define testing and implementation processes, and promote these specifications to the industry at large. Part of the work will concentrate on enabling wireless devices to "participate as full peers in the universal information space of the Web", largely through the incorporation of WAP's Wireless Markup Language (WML) features into the W3C's XHTML, the next-generation markup language for the Web.
The WAP/W3C coordination committee will meet regularly, work items include: the joint work on XHTML; compatibility with Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL), ensuring user control over privacy information; and CC/PP, a universal device profiling system based on W3C's RDF Metadata technology.
URL: WMLScript intro http://www.developer.com/journal/techworkshop/033100_wml.html
URL: Developer.com http://www.developer.com/journal
The Handheld Device Markup Language (HDML) is a simple language used to define hypertext-like content and applications for hand-held devices with small displays. HDML is designed to leverage the infrastructure and protocols of the World Wide Web while providing an efficient markup language for wireless and other handheld devices.
Congruent with the capabilities and limitations of many handheld devices, HDML's focus goes beyond presentation and layout. HDML provides an explicit navigation model which does not rely upon the visual context required of HTML. As such, HDML offers an efficient means of providing content via the WWW infrastructure to handheld devices such as cellular phones, pagers, and wireless PDA's.
A paper by Rohit Khare of 4K Associates, entitled: "W* Effect Considered Harmful" takes as its starting point The Wireless Application Forum's perceived desire to develop "an entire stack of network protocols parallel to, and only marginally compatible with, the existing Internet architecture".
The report presents a summary of WAP, its history and key players, a layer-by-layer tour of its standards (and its competitors at each layer), and its market potential for handset providers, network operators, application servers, and content providers.
The paper then suggests that there is potential for conflict between the various standards development organisations working in the WAP arena.
AudetteMedia has announced the I-Wireless Discussion List, to provide a global forum for the discussion of wireless issues. Published twice weekly in digest format the list is moderated and is designed to help Internet professionals build their knowledge of wireless technology, wireless devices, programming for wireless and delivering to wireless users.
As with all AudetteMedia publications, the list is advertiser supported and subscriptions are free. 23/05/00
URL: I-Wireless http://www.audettemedia.com/i-wireless/
URL: AudetteMedia http://www.audettemedia.com/
A posting to XML developers list enquiring as to whether: "anyone has a good URL for a WAP-standard emulator?", unearthed a number of interesting starting points. The sites below provide various WAP emulators, specifications and demos. 07/03/00
URL: http://www.wap.com.sg/downloads.htm (also PalmOS version)
URL: http://www.yourwap.com/ (follow the link to "wireless companion")
URL: Wapsody http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/aw.nsf/frame?ReadForm&/aw.nsf/techmain/7EABCFAD81051C82882567C4001A4951
URL: Ericsson's WAP IDE (registration required) http://www.ericsson.com/developerszone/tech/devtools/index.asp?tech=1&techna;me=WAP&cat=5
Ericsson have made the WAP-IDE (Integrated Developer's Environment), aimed at the development of mass market access to Internet services from small-screen wireless phones, available for free download from the web.
URL: WAP-IDE http://mobileinternet.ericsson.com
IBM are running a support program for developers working to create new applications for wireless devices. The program features a software toolkit, a new testing facility, and a direct link to Nokia for developers who want to use the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) to extend web and enterprise data to next-generation WAP phones.
Wireless Internet developer, Phone.com, has announced:
- a WAP 1.2 Preview Center for wireless operators, software developers, and handset manufacturers;
- Version 4.1 of its WAP microbrowser for wireless phones with full 128 bit encryption;
- the opening of a European WAP interoperability testing laboratory. 04/02/00
URL: WAP 1.2 Preview Center http://www.phone.com/news/Archive2000/020100_WAP_DEMO.html
URL: WAP microbrowser http://www.phone.com/news/Archive2000/020100_IOT_HAND.html
URL: Interoperability testing lab http://www.phone.com/news/Archive2000/020100_IOT.html
Hewlett-Packard has made the source code for its e-speak technology freely available to developers. HP has also announced:
- the formation of its E-speak Developer's Program (register at the site below);
- and plans for a Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) service development kit (due for release on CD early in 2000).
The e-speak open source code available on the web (see site below) from December 8, 1999. HP is hoping to recruit other companies and open source community members dedicated to the open source movement to participate in the development of the site and management of the open source code.
URL: E-speak source code (site currently under development) http://www.e-speak.net/
URL: Developer's Program http://www.hp.com/e-speak/developers/
URL: HP http://www.hp.com/
The Developer.com Express e-zine, which includes clips from a number of web sites run under the Developer.com umbrella, runs a a WAP discussion forum to talk about industry issues, get advice, or help others find answers to their programming needs. The Developer.com Journal is updated daily online at the web site below.
URL: Developer.com http://www.developer.com/journal/
URL: WAP discussion list http://www.developer.com/disc/curr.html
The Search Engine Report e-zine dated March 3, 2000 (subscribe on the Search Engine Watch web site), which covers developments in search engine technologies, reports on a number of WAP search engines that are appearing. The report suggests that this new breed of search engines will be designed for use by wireless devices to take account of low-bandwidth and small screen viewing, pointing users to sites with content optimised for WAP delivery. The report features a list of WAP search engines and a link to FAST WAP Search which is aiming to provide "comprehensive coverage of WAP content".
- FAST WAP Search - crawler produced index of WAP web pages.
- WAPLY directory of WAP web pages and WAP-related information
- WAPAW.COM - search engine and directory of WAP content
- WapWarp WAP page and web site directory
URL: http://wapwarp.com/ 07/03/00
URL: WAP Search Engines http://searchenginewatch.com/links/Specialty_Search_Engines/WAP_Search_Engines/
URL: Search Engine Watch http://searchenginewatch.com/
The Google web search engine can now translate HTML pages to WML on the fly, enabling WAP-ready mobile phones, Palm V or VII handhelds to access the site. 20/06/00
A survey published by the NOP Research Group claims that there is firm demand for WAP mobile phones. According to the research: 28% of British consumers who have used the Internet in the last year are already aware of WAP technology; 65% of Internet users also use a mobile phone and just under one in ten (9%) of Internet users claims to be likely to get a WAP-enabled mobile phone/PDA in the next 12 months.
Conducted among Internet users in Britain, France and Germany, the Euro.Net survey also found that, at 22%, declared interest in the acquisition of a WAP handset is highest among French Internet users, followed by Germany's 11% and Britain's 9%. The Euro.net survey screened nationally representative samples of 23,000 adults, aged 15+, in Britain, France and Germany. 2750 follow-up telephone interviews with web users were conducted during December 1999. 26/05/00
URL: follow links to Internet surveys http://www.nop.co.uk/
IBM is teaming with Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Symbian and others to bring e-business applications to wireless devices.
IBM WebSphere Everyplace Suite, is new server software, lets businesses easily develop, manage, and deliver web and enterprise applications for a variety of devices, including wireless handsets, PDAs, and other Internet appliances.
IBM and Motorola will jointly develop an open, highly scalable offering to link data and applications to wireless devices. Combining Motorola's device-aware front end and IBM's middleware technologies, this "voice and data engine" gives carriers an easy way to develop and access wireless applications and services. 21/03/00
URL: IBM wireless web for business http://www.ibm.com/pvc/news/press_releases/wirelessweb_0300.shtml
URL: WebSphere Everyplace http://www.ibm.com/pvc/news/press_releases/websphere_0300.shtml
URL: IBM Internet Appliance http://www.ibm.com/software/news-alert/20000320/sbcba/
URL: IBM and Motorola http://www.ibm.com/pvc/news/press_releases/motorola_0300.shtml
Microsoft is planning to release Internet Cellular Smart Access (ICSA) 3.5, it's WAP-based platform for delivering mobile Internet services, in the "first quarter of 2000". ICSA 3.5, which is the next release of the platform developed by Sendit AB, (acquired by Microsoft on July 1, 1999) will include:
- WAP access to e-mail using an external WAP gateway when sending or forwarding via e-mail, fax or Short Message Service;
- POP3 polling to pull e-mail from other Internet POP3 mailboxes;
- server-side storage of the user's e-mail address book accessible over the web and from WAP handsets;
- improved HTML web-based e-mail interface;
- support for Chinese characters, for e-mail notifications and message bodies;
- user cost control, which gives end users the ability to control and the ability to send the maximum number of notifications during any given month, which the company claims is "especially valuable for cost-conscious prepay users";
- support for Service Order Gateway, an Ericsson system that handles administration requests from unified network operator customer care systems.
Ericsson have announced that they will make available their WAP 1.1 client "at favourable conditions" to device manufacturers, operators and application developers. The company plans to establish a worldwide WAP consulting organisation consisting of around 400 consultants in "early 2000". It has also announced a web site dedicated to explain WAP technology and its benefits. The site will also include the Developer's Zone for companies and people interested in developing and maintaining WAP-based web sites.
URL: WAP Forum http://www.wapforum.org/
Ericsson is integrating various communication technologies to provide Internet services to consumer and small business appliances. Called e-services (electronic services), the company contend that: "through a single point of contact network operators will be in a position to offer consumer and small business users a wide range of utilities including: telephony, Internet access, alarm and security, remote energy control and management, healthcare, e-commerce and entertainment". The e-services infrastructure is based on the following components:
- e-box service gateway is a combined thin server and communications gateway which provides the connection between the users' appliances and the network. The gateway supports connections to both hard-wired and wireless networks, and implements a number of current technologies, with support for emerging network technologies planned.
- carrier class e-manager services and operations management system, run by the service provider and based on Ericsson's proven technology and expertise in building telecom networks.
- e-tools development environment, based on Java, enabling service providers, 3rd party application programmers and appliances vendors to develop services and products for the e-services market.
Details concerning Microsoft's Mobile Explorer and discover more about the company's "Appliance Strategy" for providing information access - anytime, anywhere, on any device. There are also details concerning smart and feature phones. This page also links to a wide range of resources concerning many of Microsoft's technologies.
Oracle's "Project Panama" is developing a system aimed at Internet and mobile service providers for the delivery of services directly to mobile devices such as GSM smart-phones, Windows CE devices and Palm Pilots. Oracle claim that the proposed system will: "automatically translate HTML or XML-based content into formats understood by wireless devices, utilising protocols including Wireless Access Protocol (WAP), for delivery of the content to them". Oracle have been working alongside Telia to develop the software, which should be available in the second half of 1999.
Digital Bridges, a mobile entertainment company claims that 100,000 games have been played through its WAP site. The games have been played, during a six-week period, via WAP phones connecting to wirelessgames.com - the gaming content channel of Digital Bridges, delivered via it's UNITY content delivery platform.
The majority of players are subscribers to Omnitel, Digital Bridges' first live operator customer. Omnitel is Italy's second largest mobile phone network, with more than 12 million subscribers. Subscribers can access 18 games, ranging from quiz games, puzzles, card games and two player board games. All of the games have been designed specifically for WAP users, "lasting around 5 minutes to provide a short, contained and enjoyable experience", claim the company. 01/08/00
Motorola, OnStar (a US in-vehicle communication and information service) and Saturn Electronics & Engineering plan to develop and build telematics devices for GM vehicles. Under the arrangement, it is contemplated that"advanced wireless products will be offered on virtually every GM car and truck beginning with model year 2001". 23/05/00
Motorola has demonstrated its first WAP-capable handset, using the Phone.com UP.Browser R4, to access email. "Motorola intends to bring WAP technology to the market and progressively roll it out across our entire product range in all technologies, including CDMA, GSM and TDMA", said Mark Powell, Motorola's Personal Communications Sector. The phone is expected to be available during the fourth quarter of 1999.
URL: Motorola http://www.motorola.com
URL: Phone.com http://www.phone.com
Across Wireless, a Swedish wireless Internet company, and Aspiro, a Swedish wireless application provider, are cooperating "to make Aspiro's extensive WAP application portfolio available on millions of mobile handsets already in consumer hands". The companies plan to create applications for service providers which support access to WML-based content from both WAP phones and "legacy SIM Toolkit phones". 15/02/00
URL: Aspiro http://www.aspiro.com/
URL: Across Wireless http://www.acrosswireless.com/
Ericsson and Reuters have launched a joint project for the delivery of financial markets news and data to the WAP-compliant mobile phones. Ericsson will supply the technology, terminals and wireless datacom expertise, whilst Reuters will provide news and data. The trial will start in London and Frankfurt, initially involving 1,000 users in the financial services sector.
URL: Reuters http://www.reuters.com/mediapack/
URL: WAP http://www.wapforum.org
URL: Ericsson Mobile Internet: http://mobile.ericsson.se/mobileinternet
French company Webraska, developer of value-added real-time traffic information, maps, and navigation services on mobile Internet phones, and ADAC Telematikdienste GmbH (ATG), a subsidiary of the Allgemeiner Deutschen Automobil Club (ADAC), the leading German automobile club with 14 million members, have announced an agreement to launch WAP services in Germany.
These services will provide real-time traffic maps and best-itinerary guidance to German mobile phone users as well as to visitors to the country. 29/02/00
IBM, Nokia and Sabre have started demonstrations of their US mobile Internet travel service. The service which uses enhanced mobile phones, utilises the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) to deliver real-time, interactive travel information. The demonstration project combines Sabre Business Travel Solutions, the company's online corporate travel purchasing system; IBM e-business technologies and the latest mobile communications technologies from Nokia, including the first WAP-enabled mobile phone. Using the service, travelers access the Internet via the graphical display on their mobile phone to request itineraries, change a flight or search for alternatives.
URL: IBM http://www.ibm.com/solutions/travel/
URL: Nokia http://www.nokia.com/
URL: Sabre http://www.sabre.com/
Paragon Software, a developer of synchronisation software for use with digital mobile phones, is working with Excite@Home and Lycos to enable Internet content, such as yellow and white pages directories from Lycos, and online address books from Excite@Home, to be easily downloaded and stored in digital mobile phones for instant access any time, any place.
The software will enable users to conduct an Internet directory search for phone numbers and addresses and then, using Paragon's FoneSync software, download the results of the search from their PCs to their digital mobile phones via a serial cable or infrared connection.
Visto and Nokia have formalised a value added services agreement; bringing e-mail, calendar and address book to Nokia's web-enabled mobile phones. The partnership will allow users to manage personal information using a Nokia Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)-enabled mobile phone and Visto's web-based personal information service. Visto and Nokia will work with wireless carriers to deliver these enhanced services to users.
URL: Viso http://www.visto.com/
Reuters, the global information and news group and Vodafone, a UK mobile phone network, have signed an agreement to enable Vodafone subscribers to receive a personalised news and information service from Reuters. Vodafone customers can personalise the type of news and financial information they would like to receive via an easy-to-use website.
Users simply select categories such as business, company, sports and general news as well as financial information and price alerts covering stocks, world indices and foreign exchange rates. Stories or prices, which correspond to the chosen categories or keywords, are then sent to the user's phone either at pre-selected times, or whenever a relevant news item or price is published.
Initially the service is available to Reuters' corporate and financial customers. However, by the end of the year the service will be available to any Vodafone customer in the UK, and this will be extended early next year to customers of selected Vodafone AirTouch networks throughout the world.
The Reuters Wireless Service uses the standard Short Message Service, common to GSM mobile phones.
URL: Vodafone http://www.vodafone.co.uk/
URL: Reuters http://www.reuters.com/
Ericsson and leading Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf are cooperating on development of new WAP services to be launched in December 1999. De Telegraaf's services will include a selection of news, weather and classified ads for use with WAP-enabled mobile phones. Ericsson is supplying De Telegraaf with technical expertise for software development, WAP 1.1 systems integration, development of the WAP applications, and enabling De Telegraaf's current web site for WAP usage. The WAP services, developed by Ericsson for De Telegraaf, will be offered through KPN Telecom's newest mobile Internet gateway service, "M-info".
URL: Ericsson's Mobile Internet portal: http://mobile.ericsson.se/mobileinternet/
Digital Mobility aggregates banking, finance, travel and information services for business executives. Anticipating the market, the London and Stockholm-based company, is developing a mobile information service, to be delivered using the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) under the brandname, InHand. The technology being used to provide the service is being developed by RTS Wireless.
NeoPoint, creator of NeoPoint smartphones, has announced a "location-based wireless portal" called myAladdin.com. Styled as: "a smart-information service that integrates wireless devices with the Internet, its is designed to add intelligence to 'raw' data services while providing mobile users a truly enhanced experience".
The service is not only available on the NeoPoint smartphones, but also on a variety of other WAP-enabled wireless handsets using CDMA, GSM, TDMA and iDEN technologies. The service is being marketed to carriers as well as vertical markets including banking and online trading and the company also has a number of content distribution agreements in place.
Swedish company, InfoCreator, is offering customers a WAP Information Service, together with its WAP Generator software. The WAP Generator enables users to publish information on the InfoCreator server which can then be accessed by users of WAP-enabled mobile phones.
Webraska Mobile Technologies and SFR (a mobile operator) plan to launch real-time detailed traffic maps on key locations within Paris and the surrounding area, over a mobile service. The phone using WAP, will display maps of streets and intersections shaded black, grey and white to indicate whether a street is blocked, heavily congested or free of traffic. On February 15, the service will be available free of charge to subscribers of e.medi@, the mobile Internet offering launched by SFR in March 1999. 11/02/00
An interesting market development, bought to our attention, and based on technology that links vending machines to the Internet. TeleVend technology, developed by and Israeli company is being promoted as a way to allow users to use mobile phones as credit cards. Pilots have demonstrated uses such as vending machine purchases, bill payment and ATM cash withdrawal. Some industry observers have predicted that if such a model catches on, the mobile device would act as a "super credit card". 11/02/00
In Fusio, a games and animation developer for the mobile phone, and Webraska, a provider of real-time mapping and guidance services for WAP mobile phones, are joining forces to create location-based games for mobile phones.
The move is an attempt to mimic the popularity of pocket games consoles (such as Nintendo's Gameboy) through using the mobile phone platform. The companies are hoping that In Fusio's expertise in developing, customising and animating games for mobile phone added to Webraska's know-how in real-time mapping displayed directly on a GSM telephone screen, space search, and guidance services are set "to break new ground in mobile phone interactive entertainment".
URL: In Fusio http://www.in-fusio.com/
URL: Webraska http://www.webraska.com/
VeriSign, a provider of Internet trust services for authentication, validation and payment, has introduced a digital certificate service for Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) servers and gateways. The service issues digital certificates for wireless servers by Motorola, Nokia, and Phone.com.
Digital certificates are "electronic credentials used to authenticate parties and enable encrypted communications and transactions over the Internet". VeriSign is offering developers and service providers free trial WAP server certificates, in the hope of accelerating the development and deployment of WAP server-based applications. These digital certificates enable Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS), the security layer in the WAP architecture.
URL: VeriSign http://www.verisign.com/
RSA Security and Ericsson plan to work together on the development of security for smartphones. Behind the move, is the belief by both companies that mobile phones will be "used broadly to access the Internet, to function as a trusted form of authentication and provide a secure platform for digitally signing e-commerce transactions". The first results of this collaboration is expected to be in the Ericsson smartphone R380 which will feature authentication for secure corporate access.
URL: RSA Security http://www.rsasecurity.com/
URL: Ericsson http://www.ericsson.se/
The Wireless Multimedia Forum (WMF) is an international, multi-vendor forum and gathering point for vendors developing products, services and information focused on the delivery of rich media content to an exploding number of mobile, wireless devices.
The WMF is working towards this vision by identifying and agreeing a standardised set of technologies to be supported in interoperable hardware and software products for the Internet Protocol-based delivery of billable, copyrighted content from wired and wireless sources to billions of mobile, wireless devices. These technologies will be aligned with clear business models for carriers and content providers and will also provide a platform for new business models and services. 05/05/00
Following recent news items on El.pub concerning XML-based technology which enables web access via telephones, the O'Reilly Network has just published an article explaining the concept. Based on CallXML and VoiceXML, there's a company, Voxeo, that will apparently help web sites get set-up at no cost. John Paul Ashenfelter introduces the ins and outs of this technology, with instructions on getting started, in his article entitled: "Voice on Your Web Site? Now You're Talking!". 06/12/00
Mobile Lifestreams is developing a web site aimed at mobile communications professionals. The site, mobile4mobile.com, will aggregate information on events, publications, and recruitment. 12/05/00
URL: Mobile Lifestreams http://www.mobilelifestreams.com/
UK research company, Ovum, has issued a warning urging caution regarding the potential for mobile e-commerce. Consumers will not pay for services just because they're wireless, Ovum warns, suggesting that potential mobile e-commerce players should plan to provide genuinely unique and compelling services, rather than trying to excite the market with over-hyped messages about "cool new technology".
This conclusion is drawn from a new report, "Mobile E-commerce: Market Strategies" which contains a market overview, discussion of new business models, users and applications and technology architecture; and strategies for potential mobile e-commerce players. It also includes market development scenarios and forecasts for 50 countries worldwide. The report is available for purchase, priced at US$ 3695. 14/04/00
US company, XYPOINT, styles itself as "the WAP alternative" and has launched a free wireless Internet service, called WebWirelessNow. Aimed at consumers wishing to access the Internet via their existing digital phone on their existing carrier network, the on-demand service "will be offered free-of-charge to consumers and will allow them to receive self-customised content such as stock quotes, weather, flight information, and traffic updates". The service is currently only available in the US. 09/05/00
URL: XYPOINT http://www.xypoint.com/
SearchWireless.com has been launched as "a web site specifically tailored for IT professionals and managers who are developing wireless technologies". The site plans to deliver wireless-specific search capabilities, links to wireless technology news; technical tips on wireless development and implementation issues; online fora; and a wireless-specific career centre. The site has been developed by TechTarget who develop sites which combine specialised search services with onsite editorial. 19/12/00
URL: TechTarget http://www.techtarget.com/
Canadian company, PalmDesktop.com, plans to launch a "customisable wireless portal", called MyPalmDesktop.com, on April 1, 2000. The free service aims to provide users with a starting point to access the Internet from mobile devices. Release notes claim that "users will be able to create a personal view of the Internet for each of their mobile devices (eg. palm-size PDAs or cell phones). Once connected, they will have a custom view of the Web that has been developed specifically for their device". PalmDesktop.com is using the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). 28/03/00
According to a press release: "Ericsson's WebOnAir Filter Proxy, filters out non-essential HTML code, adapts image quality and compresses information before it is transmitted to the wireless user".
WebOnAir is aimed at reducing the size of web files for transmission over wireless networks. It is network independent, and is being made available to developers working with GSM, TDMA, CDMA and other wireless networks. It has also been designed to complement WAP technology (Wireless Applications Protocol) and Ericsson's Wireless Mark-up Language (WML). For network operators or service providers WebOnAir comprises of two components: a client program that resides on the user device and a server gateway between the Internet and wireless networks.
WWW:MMM (Mobile Media Mode) is a "marketing icon" being promoted by Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia to: "identify mobile devices and Internet content that are designed to work together".
Motorola have announced a line of phones whose users can upgrade features and applications in the phones via the Internet. All iDEN plus series handsets will have the ability to be upgraded using available flash memory in the phone. Users will be able to take advantage of new features and applications as they become available - although they will be expected to download updates via an Internet connected PC. The software upgrades are then copied from the PC to the phone via a cable. iDEN handsets combine the capabilities of a digital wireless phone, two-way radio and text pager, as well as Internet microbrowser, two-way e-mail and wireless modem functionality into a single handset.
Motorola has also introduced a software development kit (SDK) for software developers to provide applications that can interface with an iDEN handset for connectivity to PCs, Palm connected organisers and Windows CE devices. In a related move, the company has been working with Audible, a provider of Internet-delivered spoken audio content, demonstrating the downloading of audio books, magazine and newspaper digests to iDEN handsets at the Personal Communications Showcase (PCS '99) held in the US.
URL: Audible http://www.audible.com/
Toshiba, Ericsson, IBM, Intel and Nokia have collaborated on the specification called Bluetooth, short-range radio link technology to enable wireless voice and data communications between digital devices.
Motorola has announced a number of new products and agreements to supply leading personal computer manufacturers with Bluetooth wireless technology. Both IBM and Toshiba intend to work with Motorola to offer Bluetooth functionality as a customer option across portions of their PC lines.
Motorola has also formally announced its Bluetooth-enabled car kit - bringing Bluetooth wireless technology into the automotive market.
In addition, Digianswer, a subsidiary of Motorola, is making available its Bluetooth PC software and introducing its new protocol analyzer tool.
Bluetooth wireless technology is a specification for providing links between mobile computers, mobile phones and other portable handheld devices, and connectivity to the Internet. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), comprised of a number of leading companies in the telecommunications, computing, and network industries, is driving development of the technology and bringing it to market. Companies involved in the SIG include: 3Com, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Lucent, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Toshiba, and nearly 2000 adopter companies. 20/06/00
URL: Motorola http://www.motorola.com/bluetooth/
URL: Digianswer http://www.digianswer.com/
URL: Bluetooth SIG http://www.bluetooth.com/
Ericsson has announced that its Bluetooth Module was granted Regulatory Type Approval by the official certification authority of Germany on January 12, 2000. The Ericsson Bluetooth Module is a small, low-cost, short range radio module. When built into mobile devices such as mobile phones, laptops or PDAs, it facilitates cable-free connectivity between devices.
Similar type approval applications for the Bluetooth Module have been submitted to 15 other countries, and Ericsson expects them to be successfully processed during March 2000. The company believes that Regulatory Type Approval signals the beginning of large-scale incorporation of the technology into future mobile and other devices. 03/03/00
URL: Bluetooth http://www.bluetooth.com/
URL: Ericsson Bluetooth http://bluetooth.ericsson.se/
The Bluetooth Development Kit from Ericsson can be used for developing Bluetooth applications for a range of electronic devices. Priced at 9,000 UK pounds, the kit comes with two development boards (circuit boards) for testing application software, device to device. The company claim that the scope for Bluetooth applications is wide-ranging, enabling: "almost any equipment that has a wire connecting it to another device can harness the Bluetooth technology to enable wireless operation. Devices can also be developed to communicate with each other".
CATC (Computer Access Technology Corporation) are distributing, free of charge, the Merlin Bluetooth Starter CD which contains CATCs Bluetooth Trace Viewer along with sample files that enable users to display, analyse and print Bluetooth protocol traffic files.
The sample files provide a visual representation of the Bluetooth protocol under version 1.0b of the Bluetooth specification. Additionally, the CD contains:
- version 1.0 of both the Bluetooth Core Specification and the Bluetooth Profile Specification;
- and whitepapers on the Bluetooth Protocol Architecture, Security Architecture and Service Discovery Protocol. 29/02/00
Sales of Bluetooth technology are likely to exceed US$ 2 Billion by 2005, according to research carried out by US research organisation, Allied Business Intelligence. The report concludes that Bluetooth technology will replace cables joining user devices with a short-range radio link that is universally compatible. Bluetooth will enable a wireless connection between virtually any electronic device over a distance of up to 10 meters. Broadcasting at the 2.4 GHz ISM band, Bluetooth microtransceivers take advantage of the recently formalized IEEE 802.11 specification for wireless LANs. Future Bluetooth iterations could extend the initial range to 30 meters. An early version is scheduled for 1999 and requires no licensing or royalty fees.
The sales projections are based on the assumption that Bluetooth will be used in many user devices including notebook, desktop, and handheld computers, PDAs, cellular/PCS handsets, pagers, printers, fax machines, modems, wireless LAN and LAN access devices, headsets, and thermostats. Early adoption is likely to be highest amongst business users for smartphones and notebook computers.
The market for Bluetooth technology is described in the report, "Wireless Data Communications 2005: From WANs to Bluetooth" which can be purchased from the web site below.
Bluetooth mailing list at listbot - is described as "probably the largest Bluetooth related mailing list outside of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG)". This list is for information, press releases and discussion about Bluetooth products, services and technology.
The list is somewhat related to the Motorola Bluetooth web site and the Top Ten Bluetooth Related Sites List. 19/07/00
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has defined a process that enables system developers to employ the Salutation Architecture for service discovery and utilisation functions in Bluetooth short-range radio frequency (RF) networks. The SIG is developing new Bluetooth Profiles that describe how to use other service discovery technologies in Bluetooth environments. To date these profiles include Salutation and Universal Plug and Play.
The Salutation Architecture provides a standard method for applications, services and devices to advertise their capabilities to their counterparts over a network, and search for and use the capabilities of other applications, services and devices when needed. The Salutation Bluetooth Profile has been developed by the Consortium with contributions from IBM. 01/08/00
URL: Bluetooth Special Interest Group http://www.bluetooth.com/
URL: Salutation Consortium http://www.salutation.org/
In Europe the Digital Enhanced Telecommunication Standard (DECT) is becoming established as the standard for wireless connectivity in the home, whilst in the US a consortium called HomeRF (it's technology is based on DECT) is to the fore.
URL: DECT http://www.etsi.org/DECT/dect.htm
URL: HomeRF http://www.homerf.org
The Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) Forum is an organisation consisting of international telecom operators and manufacturers with the aim of promoting DECT to users and its adoption by standardisation bodies. DECT has been put forward as a candidate for the ITU's 3G (third generation mobile) wireless technologies contest, and is being considered alongside five other potential technologies.
The mission of the HomeRF Working Group is to enable the existence of a broad range of interoperable consumer devices, by establishing an open industry specification for unlicensed RF digital communications for PCs and consumer devices anywhere, in and around the home.
Motorola plans to acquire short-range connectivity specialist Digianswer from Olicom as an integral part of Motorola's strategy for delivering Bluetooth and HomeRF wireless products to the mobile and wireless networking markets. Bluetooth and HomeRF are short-range wireless standards that allow quick, easy-to-use data transfers between mobile and home electronics products.
Motorola is planning to develop products that will "have the ability to seamlessly exchange text files, photos, music and more without connecting cables or wires". Motorola will embed Digianswer's Bluetooth technology into its DigitalDNA product portfolio for wireless connectivity, portable computing and home networking platforms. Motorola also plans to use Digianswer's integrated solutions in several product lines, including cellular phones, two-way radios, accessories, broadband home networking products and automotive solutions.
The Home Radio Frequency Working Group has developed a single specification (Shared Wireless Access Protocol-SWAP) for a broad range of interoperable consumer devices. SWAP is an industry specification that allows PCs, peripherals, cordless telephones and other consumer devices to share and communicate voice and data in and around the home without the complication and expense of running new wires. The current membership group is made up of leading companies across the PC, consumer electronics, networking, peripherals and communications and semiconductor industries worldwide.
URL: Bluetooth http://www.bluetooth.com/
URL: Home Radio Frequency Working Group http://www.homerf.org/
URL: Digianswer http://www.digianswer.com/
URL: Motorola http://www.motorola.com/
URL: Motorola Bluetooth http://www.motorola.com/bluetooth/
HiperLAN2 is a high-speed standard for broadband Wireless LAN that consists of 3 profiles for the corporate, public and the home environments. The HiperLAN2 technology, operating in the 5 GHz band, can offer up to 54Mbps over the air interface. Dedicated spectrum will be allocated worldwide on the 5 GHz frequency band for Wireless LAN traffic. The 5 GHz band distinguishes from the present 2,4 GHz band in that there is no potential interference from non Wireless LAN appliances using the same frequencies.
The allocated spectrum in Europe, US and Japan are overlapping, which means the same equipment can be used in different parts of the world. Initiated by Ericsson, HiperLAN2 Global Forum was established in September 1999. The Forum's mission is to promote HiperLAN2 as the next generation global Wireless LAN standard and to ensure interoperability between products. Founding members are Bosch, Dell, Ericsson, Nokia, Telia, and Texas Instruments. 18/02/00
URL: HiperLAN2 Global Forum http://www.hiperlan2.com/
URL: Ericsson's Wireless LAN http://www.ericsson.com/wlan/
The Ericsson Developer Alliance Program (EDAP) plans to provide developers with support, certification, training, and product information for all the technologies that fall under the Ericsson Mobile Internet Infrastructure portfolio, including Bluetooth, WAP and EPOC.
EDAP currently contains three subprograms focussing on Mobile Phones and Accessories, WAP applications and Smartphones and Communicators. Three more subprograms to be launched in a near future include: GSM on the Net, iPulse and Mobile Positioning.
EDAP will gradually be implemented worldwide through Ericsson's local and regional centres. 03/03/00
URL: EDAP http://www.ericsson.com/developerszone/
URL: Ericsson mobile phones http://mobile.ericsson.com/
Telecomresearch.com carries news of wireless data market forecasts as wireless data applications start to take off.
URL: Wireless data forum http://www.wirelessdata.org/
URL: personal communications service (laptop plus cellphone) http://www.pcsdata.com/
URL: GSM data http://www.gsmdata.com/
URL: wireless market forecasts http://www.telecomresearch.com/
Seventy three companies participated in the inaugural meeting of the Location Interoperability Forum (LIF), an industry initiative to promote development of Location based services. Location-based services allow mobile users to receive services relative to their geographic location.
The LIF has formed a number of working groups aiming to address issues including: interfaces, interoperability, standards, and testing. Global network operators, service and content providers, equipment manufacturers and application developers have united in order to define and promote secure and interoperable location services, particularly those consumer services focusing on personalisation with a lifestyle orientation. 08/12/00
IBM, Lotus, Motorola, Nokia, Palm,, Psion and Starfish Software have founded the SyncML Initiative to "develop and promote an open industry specification for universal data synchronization of remote data and personal information across multiple networks, platforms and devices".
The founders of the initiative hope that SyncML will act as an XML-based data synchronisation protocol accross multiple applications including e-mail, calendar, contact management information, enterprise data stored in databases, web-based documents.
The SyncML Initiative is encouraging other companies to join to help in developing the specification, which the founders are hoping will find equal application in products ranging from web servers and laptops to PDAs and mobile phones. Delivery of the first draft specification is scheduled for "later this year". 03/03/00
Psion has demonstrated mobile application data synchronisation, based upon the first revision of the SyncML technical specification. The demo used SyncML to synchronise the agenda on a Psion Revo to a Lotus Domino server.
The SyncML initiative, of which Psion is a member, was formed in February 2000 in order to promote and develop an open, global specification for data synchronisation, particularly in a mobile environment. The initiative has over 250 supporters, including founding members: Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Motorola, Nokia, Palm and Starfish Software. 11/07/00
URL: SyncML initiative http://www.syncml.org/
URL: Psion http://www.psion.com/
The SyncML Initiative has released the final 1.0 specification for SyncML remote data synchronisation. The new protocol, was developed in just under ten months, and should enable end users to benefit from immediate synchronisation of e-mail and other office applications via mobile devices. The SyncML Initiative is sponsored by companies such as Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Palm Inc., Psion and Starfish Software.
In a related announcement, Nokia has showcased its mobile calendar, based on SyncML, on its 9210 Communicator product. 19/12/00
URL: SyncML http://www.syncml.org/
The SDR Forum is a "non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting the development, deployment, and use of open architectures for advanced wireless systems". According to it's web site, the Forum membership is international, and growing. The site includes a number of resources relating to conferences and meetings and also details of various working groups concerned with wireless computing and communications. 14/04/00
Eight companies involved in the wireless location industry from US, Europe and Canada have joined together to announce today the creation of the Wireless Location Industry Association (WLIA), located in Washington, DC. The WLIA plans to "work to promote the location based industry by consulting with government, administrative and regulatory bodies on behalf of the industry and create a forum to develop self-regulating policies, network and share information among members of the industry".
It also wants to provide references and information about the industry to the public and to policy makers, internationally. The founder members wish to ecourage other wireless location companies to join the association. 05/01/01
Sega has signed an agreement to develop games for a number of "next-generation" Motorola phones. The phones are expected to be available in the first half of 2001 through iDEN network operators including Nextel Communications and Southern LINC in the US and Clearnet Communications in Canada.
The first of these phones will ship with one pre-installed Sega game, the puzzle game, Borkov. Additional games will be available for users to download from the Internet. Further information on Motorola's iDEN technology via the link below. 06/12/00
URL: Motorola http://www.motorola.com/
URL: iDEN http://www.motorola.com/iden
URL: Sega http://www.sega.com/
Cosmote, a Greek mobile wireless operator, and Microsoft have the launched a new wireless Internet e-mail service. The service will be based around the Microsoft Internet Cellular Smart Access (ICSA) e-mail server, which will provide a full range of Internet e-mail services accessible not only over fixed line Web connections and WAP mobile devices, but also through regular mobile phones using Short Message Services.
This new service has the potential bring Internet e-mail to more Greeks than currently receive it - according to Cosmote's figures only about 5 percent of the population access Internet e-mail via a PC connection. 03/11/00
The world's three largest mobile phone manufacturers today announced that they have set up a forum dedicated to developing global interoperability between mobile positioning systems.
Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia have founded the Location Interoperability Forum (LIF) to achieve the goal of offering location-based services worldwide on wireless networks and terminals. The first applications based on the LIF recommendations are expected to be available already starting in 2001. 05/10/00
LightSurf Technologies have demonstrated instant wireless digital photography technology. The demonstration featured a wireless phone attached to a digital camera, designed by LightSurf - the camera and phone captured, previewed and sent the image to the Internet. The demonstration showed LightSurf's complete end-to-end infrastructure solution for instant wireless digital photography which includes photo-enabled mobile devices, wireless acceleration technology and back-end imaging servers.
The company has formed collaborative partnerships with Kodak and Motorola to create and deliver wireless digital photography solutions for the "mass market". 26/09/00
URL: LightSurf Technologies http://www.lightsurf.com/
Ericsson and Microsoft have launched Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB, a joint company for developing and marketing mobile "e-mail solutions for network operators". The first products, which will integrate Microsoft Windows 2000 Server and Microsoft Exchange platforms with Ericsson's infrastructure and mobile Internet technologies, will be launched by year end.
The alliance also includes cooperation on the use of the Microsoft Mobile Explorer browser for Ericsson's feature phones, licensing of Ericsson's WAP technology for use in Microsoft's solutions, and distribution of Microsoft Outlook together with applicable Ericsson phones.
As part of the cooperation, the two companies will also work jointly to support technologies such as Bluetooth , WAP and UpnP (Universal Plug & Play). 22/09/00
URL: Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB http://www.em-mobileventure.com/
Wireless Games, a UK-based developer of wireless Internet entertainment for next generation mobile phones and wireless devices, has signed a deal with Scottish-based computer games developer The Games Kitchen to develop a virtual pets game for WAP-enabled phones.
Wireless Pets will be launched in Q4 2000 on wirelessgames.com. 08/09/00
Orange, the mobile phone operator, is carrying out trials of the US AirFlash service in the UK. The trial includes developing location-based business listings, ATM finder, driving directions and hotel information, enabling users to search for information, such as restaurants and hotels, according to their current or future location. The service is expected to go live in the near future and that German and French services will follow quickly. 25/08/00
The American Museum of the Moving Image, a US museum dedicated to the art, history, technique, and technology of the moving image is working with Organic, an Internet professional-services firm, to develope a prototype of a wireless artifact-information system.
To be called eDocent, the system will send information from a database at the Museum to mobile communications devices carried through the galleries by visitors. The information can be continuously updated, and may be experienced by the user either at that time, via the device, or at another time via a traditional web browser interface. The information can consist of text, audio, still, and possibly moving images.
Organic plans to integrate advanced networking and sensor technologies and develop a custom application platform that can meet the future needs of the Museum and other public institutions. This platform will be tested across a number of standard portable devices, from Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) devices to e-books to web tablets, and operating systems such as Palm and Symbian.
The Museum houses the one of the US's most important collections of motion picture and television artifacts. The eDocent project has the potential to make this resource, which comprises some 85,000 objects, more widely accessible to the public. 14/07/00
URL: American Museum of the Moving Image http://www.ammi.org/
URL: Organic http://www.organic.com/
The latest study from UK research company Ovum, reports that wireless Internet and, increasingly, wireless portals are the new breed of value-added services that mobile operators are turning to as a means to differentiate services and increase revenues. In addition terminal suppliers, ISPs, content providers, financial services companies, big brand retailers and many more, are also "jumping on the bandwagon".
Ovum finds that various types or organisations are vying for a piece of this market:
- for terminal suppliers, wireless portals mean a market for smartphones and other advanced Internet ready terminals;
- for ISPs and content providers, wireless portals mean a new value-added service for both existing subscribers and new customers, especially cellular users that do not subscribe to their services;
- software vendors like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle will also take advantage of this new market to make mobile Internet part of their end-to-end solutions.
The report however advises caution, as market consolidation and a question mark over whether consumers are prepared to pay, may affect development. The report, "Wireless Portals: Business Models and Market Strategies", which predicts that global revenues for wireless portals will grow from $747 million in 2000 to $42 billion in 2005, costs Euro 3355. 03/07/00
Psion Incorporated has announced the availability, in North America, of the Psion 56k Travel Modem for Windows CE, Palm and Handspring handheld devices.
George Grey, CEO of Psion Incorporated, said, "We are delighted to support all major PDA devices with the infra-red travel modem. We expect significant interest from end-users, corporate and enterprise customers for this easy-to-use solution. We anticipate that hotels, airport lounges and showrooms can be equipped with travel modems allowing any PDA user to walk up to the infra-red port and access their email or Internet account without having to plug in devices or cables."
The Travel Modem is available from Psion's web site at the US list price of US$129. 03/07/00
URL: Psion http://www.psion.com/
Ericsson and Charles Schwab have agreed to cooperate to develop mobile investing applications. The two companies will participate in joint R&D activities to develop and deliver wireless trading applications based on WAP (Wireless Application Protocol).
Schwab has also announced that it is at the "advanced testing stages with a wireless solution for the Hong Kong market". 20/06/00
The Open Group (the vendor and technology-neutral consortium committed to enterprise technology integration) has formed a Mobile Management Forum "dedicated to speeding the adoption of wireless and mobile solutions for the enterprise". The Forum intends to act as a focal point "where the work of the many wireless industry standards groups can be seen as a whole, and where gaps in interoperability can be identified and addressed".
Research conducted by The Open Group identified five major challenges:
- sessions management of wireless devices and applications;
- data synchronisation of mobile devices and networked data;
- co-existence of wireless LAN and merging personal area network (PAN) technologies;
- authentication, authorisation and accounting for wireless data devices and applications;
- and wireless device-independent content origination. 06/06/00
URL: The Open Group http://www.opengroup.org/
Conversa and Phone.com are collaborating to enable enable wireless phones to launch and control Phone.com's UP.Browser with spoken commands. The companies are hoping that the joint technology development agreement will lead to them being able to offer "the first voice navigation-enabled WAP browser".
The UP.Browser microbrowser is currently licensed to more than 30 wireless phone manufacturers. 02/06/00
URL: Conversa http://www.conversa.com/
URL: Phone.com http://www.phone.com/
The Mobey Forum (pronounced Mo-Bay) is a financial industry-driven forum, whose mission is to encourage the use of mobile technology in financial services. The formation of the Mobey Forum was publicly announced by 14 world-leading financial institutions and mobile manufacturers on May 10, 2000. Further details from the Forum's web site. 16/05/00
Sila Communications, a joint venture formed by Aether Systems and Reuters, plans to offer wireless data services in both Europe and Asia. Concentrating on the delivery of applications based on the delivery of financial date to mobile handsets, Sila will use WAP over GSM initially, but plans to exploit next-generation networks including GPRS and UMTS, "when they are implemented commercially". 16/05/00
URL: Aether http://www.aethersystems.com/
URL: Reuters http://www.reuters.com/
Maporama and Ukibi have signed agreement to develop combined street maps, itineraries and the StayInSync address book technology for web operators. The two companies will jointly market the solution to web operators including wireless access protocol (WAP) service providers, internet service providers (ISPs), and Telcos.
Users of web sites subscribing to the joint offer will be able to select a name from their personal address book, view the person's location on a map and display the details of the itinerary to get there. This service, will be available in 15 countries in Europe via the Maporama web site. Demonstration versions of these solutions will available shortly at the companies' web sites. 09/05/00
URL: Maporama http://www.maporama.com/
URL: Ukibi http://www.ukibi.com/
W3C and WAP held a joint workshop in February 2000, on position dependent information services. The minutes and presentations are now available on the web. 26/04/00
"Mobile Travel Commerce - a bigger deal than Online Travel", was the title of a workshop on mobile commerce for travel and transport organised by the Global Mobile Commerce Forum (GMCF) held in Cannes, France on 30 March, 2000. The GMCF is a diverse group of companies working to shape the future of mobile commerce, "giving members the opportunity to understand key business issues in a fast-moving environment and to work with leading players in the industry". 31/03/00
Psion's netBook device is aimed at mobile employees working in the insurance, banking, healthcare and utilities industries. Working with companies such as IBM, Citrix Systems and Oracle Psion is planning to provide a mechanism whereby mobile employees can gain access a wide range of information that currently resides within the confines of their offices.
The netBook, is a handheld computing device built on Sun's Enterprise Java 1.1.4 and an implementation of Sun's Java Virtual Machine. 11/04/00
An IBM white paper, "Developing Wireless Web Applications", explains how to use Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and Wireless Markup Language (WML) technologies to develop Web applications for mobile devices.
The paper offers five principles for designing for small screens. 21/07/00
O'Reilly's "Learning WML & WMLScript" gets developers up to speed with a few of the technologies which are likely to play an important part in the development of wireless applications: WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) WML (Wireless Markup Language) and WMLScript. As with most O'Reilly publications Chapter 3, "WML Tasks and Events", is available free online. 14/11/00
URL: Chapter 3 http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/learnwml/chapter/ch03.html
URL: WML and WMLScript Tips & Tricks article http://www.oreilly.com/news/wml_1000.html
URL: Table of Contents http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/learnwml/
There is a special online report from the Scientific American focussing on the Wireless Web. Among the articles, which also link to other related articles and resources: "The Wireless Web", "The Internet in Your Hands"; "The Promise and Perils of WAP"; "The Future Is Here. Or Is It?", which considers the thorny question as to how will web phones become popular if it costs $4 to send one e-mail? "The Third-Generation Gap" - which considers wireless broadband technologies will deliver desktop-level Web access. 08/11/00
Motorola has released an API (applications programming interface) for the Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME). The Mobile Information Device (MID) Profile defines how software applications are designed to interface with wireless phones, pagers and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
The specification builds on Sun's J2ME that defines how these applications will interface with the native software of the end user devices. 05/10/00
NetCom, Norway, will be the first operator in the world to launch Moso, the mobile e-mail solution from Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture. The solution will enable NetCom's enterprise users to gain secure mobile access to their corporate e-mail and personal information management functions, such as calendar and contacts. Moso for NetCom will also feature team collaboration that enables co-workers to share documents, calendars and tasks while on the move. The commercial launch is planned for first half of 2001. 03/01/01
Today's mobile Internet is a predictable let-down, with feeble GSM networks and operator missteps ensuring consumer discontent, according to a briefing from Forrester Research BV. But rapid advances will ease the problems and draw 54% of Europeans to the mobile Internet by 2005, the company concludes. Find out more from The Forrester press release. 10/10/00
URL: press release http://www.forrester.com/ER/Press/Release/0,1769,400,FF.html
Cahners In-Stat predicts that by the year 2004 there will be as many as 1.5 billion wireless devices worldwide by 2004. The devices will include Internet-enabled phones and PDAs with very strong growth and adoption in Europe. Further predictions are published in the press release. 22/09/00
European retailers' hopes to sell through mobile phones, interactive TVs, and PDAs will fall short. The inherent constraints of these devices will limit their share of online retail to 33 billion in 2005 - only 19% of total online retail. In a recent report Forrester projects:
- that mobile phones will account for only a meager 3% of total online retail by 2005, totaling 5.2 billion. Mobile phones only favor transactions that are timely, simple, and location-based - low-cost items like flowers and cinema tickets.
- iDTV will account for 16% of online retail by 2005, totaling 28 billion. Limited input, poor resolution, and an entertainment bias lead iDTV viewers toward "lazy interactivity", not considered shopping trips. As a result, iDTV is better for purchases that are audiovisual, contextual, and entertainment-related.
- Even by 2005, wireless PDAs will be outnumbered more than 150-to-1 by Net-enabled mobile phones and will capture less than one-tenth of 1% of online retail sales.
In the report "Driving Retail With Devices", Forrester interviewed 40 executives from European retailers who support at least one of these new interactive devices in addition to the PC. Forrester also used results from the Technographics Europe May 2000 survey of 23,000 consumers.
Forrester's Technographics Europe research program provides continuous quantitative information about consumers' attitudes toward and adoption of technology. 20/09/00
URL: press release http://www.forrester.com/ER/Press/Release/0,1769,391,FF.html
CMG has published the results of a study of business mobile users in Europe that shows that users are not keen to pay for new services from their phones. Users are not keen for children to have mobiles and think using the phone while driving is OK. 25/07/00
URL: http://www.cmgplc.com/UK/News+and+Events/Press+Releases/CT%2eCGM%2eTEL%2e00 1%2emphones.htm
By the end of 2000, there will be approximately 16.7 million wireless portal end-users in Europe's top 15 markets, according to a new study released by The Strategis Group.
The study, "European Wireless Portals: Strategies & Market Positioning", discovered a variety of factors driving European wireless portal market, including:
- handset vendors announcing that all future models are to be WAP-enabled;
- operators adopting increasingly aggressive promotions and marketing strategies to encourage end-users to upgrade their handsets;
- further upgrades of WAP to support enhanced graphics and animations.
The research also indicated that cellular operators will launch portal-based applications for use by any cellular phone user, scrapping the previously used "walled garden" content model, which restricts subscribers' access to third party portals.
The report details more than 80 companies working to develop the wireless portal marketplace. 21/07/00
"The Wireless Integrator", a new report from Deutsche Banc's research arm, highlights the mobile web as the driver for the development of the next significant wave of e-services. The report is being circulated to the bank's investment clients. 11/07/00
URL: Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown http://www.dbgroup.com/
A new online service for tracking developments in the global mobile industry has been launched by UK consultancy, Analysys. Mobile Markets is a subscription service which contains detailed profiles of 50 of the world's largest mobile groups and the listings contain contact details for more than 300 further operators.
The profiles present information on the companies' strategies and future expansion plans, networks, product and service offerings. The service, available via the web, will be updated quarterly. Further information, including a "guided presentation" is available from Analysys. 06/07/00
We have received an announcement of a free daily e-mail newsletter which covers the wireless industry business and technology. To see a sample visit the URL below. 16/01/01
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