What is WAP?
WAP or Wireless Application Protocol is the open standard for enabling
web content to mobile phones and other wireless devices. WAP is the
platform for the new generation of information through phones. It is
really nothing but a set of rules derived by Nokia and first developed
for use in their mobile phones.
Features Of WAP
To make use of a WAP service, the user must have a mobile device
that is equipped for WAP. Such a phone is equipped with a WAP
micro browser, which fulfills navigation and presentation functions
just like Internet browsers on a PC. The navigation function enables
the user to request information by entering an Internet address. The
browser receives information from the Internet address and presents
this to the mobile user. In addition, the browser is equipped with
functionality that makes integration of telephone services possible.
The wireless services provided by WAP are independent of the
underlying digital wireless network technology. WAP enables users of
mobile phones to have access to information and transactional
The user of a WAP-enabled mobile phone can get connected to the
Internet instantly and can access any Internet service immediately.
S/he can seek and get stock market quotes, Internet searches, banking
information, flight timings, current news and much more.
In practice, there are certain limitations to using a mobile phone to
access data, as compared to a computer, for example: screen size and
lack of keyboard input. But such usage is inevitably going to increase
in future. The reason is, a computer confines you to a physical
location, whereas with a mobile phone you can reach the information
quickly from wherever you are.
Just as there are various suppliers of Internet browsers, there are
also several suppliers of WAP browsers. At present, the biggest browser suppliers
are Openwave, Nokia, and Ericsson. Nokia and Ericsson developed the browser mainly
for their own equipment. Open wave supplies licenses to Motorola, Alcatel, and
Mitsubishi, among others. Microsoft also supplies a WAP browser, Microsoft Mobile
Explorer, that issued in Sony handsets, among others. Each type of browser presents the
information in its own way, depending on the screen size of the
apparatus concerned, but not every type of browser supports the same
set of facilities. Most suppliers offer a toolkit enabling
information suppliers to produce services and then to see how the
service will appear on equipment using the browser concerned.
Unfortunately, additional testing on the specific equipment concerned
is often also required, because the toolkit may not work in exactly
the same way as the browser on the cellular phone. The large diversity
between browsers can mean that, just as on the Internet, an
information supplier must present an application in a number of