WAP bridges the gap between the wireless mobile world and the internet. The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) , is a collection of protocols and transport layers which allow mobile and portable communication devices such as mobile phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s), to receive information over the airwaves such as personal computers users obtain information over the internet. . WAP is simply a protocol- a standardized way that a mobile phone talks to a server installed in the mobile phone network.
WAP is a hot topic that has been widely hyped in the mobile industry and outside of it. It has become imperative for all Information Technology companies in Nordic countries and beyond to have a WAP division. Many advertising agencies and "dotcoms" have announced WAP services. From the user's perspective, using WAP is
much like surfing the net on a personal computer; the mobile device is fitted with a small, or not so small, display which can be used just like a desktop browser. Information sources can be selected which are then downloaded and their content is displayed. Hyper Text links and buttons can then be pressed to move around from page to page in a very simple way. In this respect, there is very little difference between WAP browsing and desktop surfing, but, behind the scenes there are considerable differences because of the medium through which the information must travel, over radio waves rather than along hard-wired or telephone lines.
Importance of WAP
It provides a standardized way of linking the Internet to mobile phones, thereby linking two of the hottest industries anywhere.
Its founder members include the major wireless vendors of Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola, plus a newcomer Phone.com.
Compared to the wired networks there are many constraints in this wireless world. * Less band width * More latency * Less connection stability * Less predictable availability
.In order to meet the requirements for mobile operations the solutions must be: Inter operable-terminals from different manufacturers are able to communicate with the services in the mobile networks. Scalable-mobile network operators are able to scale services to customer needs. Efficient-provides quality of services suited to the behavior and characteristics of the mobile world. Reliable-provides a consistent and predictable platform for deploying services.
Secure-enables services to be extended over potentially unprotected mobile networks while still preserving the integrity of user data, protects the devices and services from security problems such as denial of service.
WAP also has its detractors and controversies:
It is very difficult to configure WAP phones for new WAP services, with 20 or so different parameters needing to be entered to gain access to a WAP service.
Compared with the installed base of Short Message Service (SMS) compliant phones, the relative number of handsets supporting WAP is tiny. WAP is a protocol that runs on top of an underlying bearer. None of the existing GSM bearers for WAP- the Short Message Service (SMS), Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD) and Circuit Switched Data (CSD) are optimized for WAP.
There are many WAP Gateway vendors out there competing against each other with largely the same standardized product. This has led to consolidation such as the pending acquisition of APiON by Phone.com.
Other protocols such as SIM Application Toolkit and Mobile Station Application Execution Environment (MexE) are respectively already widely supported or designed to supercede WAP.
WAP services are expected to be expensive to use since the tendency is to be online for a long Circuit Switched Data (CSD) call as the end user uses features such as interactivity and selection of more information. Without specific tariff initiatives, there are likely to be some surprised WAP users when...