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|Press Release 11 November 1998|
Download this Press Release in MS Word FormatWIRELESS APPLICATION PROTOCOL EMBRACED BY ALL SECTORS OF WORLDWIDE WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY
Open Wireless Internet Standard Backed by 71 Companies Worldwide
LONDON, United Kingdom - (11 November 1998) - The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum (www.wapforum.org) today announced 11 new member companies and the appointment of three additional board members. Joining the board are Mr. Hiroshi Sakai, director and general manager, Mobile Communications Engineering Division, Engineering Group, DDI Corporation; Dr. Shuichi Shindo, senior vice president, Mobile Computing Business Department of NTT Mobile Communications Network, Inc.; and Terry Yu, vice president of product management and development of Sprint PCS. DDI Corporation (www.ddi.co.jp) is a leading telecommunications carrier in Japan, serving over 8 million subscribers. NTT Mobile Communications Network, Inc. (www.nttdocomo.com) serves over 21 million of Japan's 36.5 million wireless subscribers. Sprint PCS has the largest 100 percent digital, 100 percent PCS nationwide wireless network in the United States, already serving 177 metropolitan markets which include more than 4,000 cities and communities across the country.
With active participation from the entire industry, the WAP Forum has delivered a set of Internet standard protocols designed to run on top of the Internet IP protocol and other wireless network bearers. This vendor-neutral and network-independent open specification is the unified worldwide standard for providing wireless Internet access from handheld devices. For the first time, there is a single industry-standard mechanism for wireless application interoperability and a standard XML-compliant markup language, WML (Wireless Markup Language) that is being implemented industry-wide. This common standard accelerates market growth by providing a clear path for application developers.
"NTT Mobile Communications Network, Inc. is an active participant in various telecommunications industry standardization activities," said Dr. Shuichi Shindo, senior vice president, Mobile Computing Business, NTT Mobile Communications Network, Inc. "We support and contribute to the open WAP Internet specification as a sure and successful path to interoperability, higher value and more advanced services."
WAP utilizes HTTP 1.1 Web servers to provide content on the Internet or intranets, thereby leveraging existing application development methodologies and developer skill sets such as CGI, ASP, NSAPI, JAVA and Servlets. WAP defines an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) syntax called WML (Wireless Markup Language). All WML content is accessed over the Internet using standard HTTP 1.1 requests. To leverage today's extremely large market penetration of mobile devices, WML's user interface components map well onto existing mobile phone user interfaces. This means end-users can immediately use WAP-enabled mobile phones and services without re-education. WAP specifications enable products which employ standard Internet technology to optimize content and airlink protocols to better suit the characteristics and limitations of existing and future wireless networks and devices.
"In today's fast-paced mobile environment, Sprint PCS is committed to providing clarity, coverage, simplicity and value to our customers," said Terry Yu, vice president of product management and development of Sprint PCS. "WAP's use of standard Internet protocols and vendor-independent technology enables carriers to efficiently deliver the best possible service to customers, today and in the future."
The WAP architecture consists of several modules that together form a fully compliant Internet entity. WAP enables network operators to employ any data transport deployed in their networks, including TCP/IP, UDP/IP, GUTS (IS-135 /6), SMS, or USSD. There are several liaison relationships between WAP and other industry organizations, including ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute), MexE (ETSI's Mobile Execution Environment) and CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association). The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) are actively working with the WAP Forum to evolve HTML-NG (Next Generation) and HTTP-NG to better meet the requirements of future wireless network technologies. The WAP protocol specifications are being evolved to address the enhanced capabilities of 3G wireless networks emerging in the next few years. The WAP specifications currently specify bearer level interfaces to the GPRS data bearers.
"With WAP, DDI's total integrated solution will innovate Internet service in Japan," said Mr. Hiroshi Sakai, director and general manager, Mobile Communications Engineering Division, Engineering Group, DDI Corporation. "We are committed to the WAP standardization efforts and are pleased to be contributing to this worldwide effort."
The WAP Forum membership includes widespread representation from all sectors of the industry, including the leading infrastructure manufacturers, handset manufacturers, wireless network operators and software providers.
The WAP Forum Board of Directors includes:
Mr. Chuck Parrish (chairman), executive vice president, Unwired Planet, Inc.
Mr. Gregory G. Williams (vice chairman), vice president, Wireless Systems, SBC Communications, Inc.
Dr. Alain C. Briancon, vice president & director, Internet & Networking Group, Motorola Limited
Mr. Christophe Francois, product development director, CEGETEL / SFR
Dr. Ajei S. Gopal, director of technology, Pervasive Computing, IBM Corporation
Mr. Skip Bryan, director of technology marketing, WAP & Bluetooth, Ericsson Mobile Communications
Mr. Noritake Okada, senior engineer, Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd.
Mr. Francis Pinault, system & architecture manager, Professional & Consumer Division, Alcatel
*Mr. Hiroshi Sakai, director, general manager, Mobile Communications Engineering Division, Engineering Group, DDI Corporation
Mr. Paul Schofield, senior product manager, Wireless Data, Products & Marketing, Telstra Corporation
* Dr. Shuichi Shindo, senior vice president, Mobile Computing Business Department, NTT Mobile Communications Network, Inc.
Mr. Mikko Terho, vice president, Wireless Data, Nokia Mobile Phones
*Mr. Terry Yu, vice president of product management and development, Sprint PCS
* newly appointed directors
The WAP Forum Membership includes these 71 companies:
New Member Profiles - November 1998
ACER PERIPHERALS, INC., established in 1984, is a leading manufacturer of
computer peripherals, communication, and consumer electronic products.
Specializing in wireless terminals, the company's Communications B. U.
develops and manufactures mobile phones and handheld devices of GSM and CDMA
technologies. Acer Peripherals has launched several models of GSM handsets
so far and plans to launch 6 more new models of GSM 900 and DCS 1800
handsets by the end of 1998. Visit www.acerperipherals.com.tw for more
BELL ATLANTIC MOBILE owns and operates the largest wireless network in the
East, providing customers with a full range of wireless voice, paging, and
data communications solutions. With a strong focus on superior network
quality and coverage, innovative technologies, customer service, and the
development and deployment of new products, Bell Atlantic Mobile is a
leading national provider of wireless communications services. The company
is the chief wireless subsidiary of Bell Atlantic Corporation. Visit
www.bam.com/ for more information.
BOUYGUES TELECOM, headquartered in Vélizy, South West of Paris, is the
youngest and the third mobile operator in France; it employs 4500 staff and
its network is a GSM 1800 one. In 1997, a mere 19 months after launching its
service in the Paris region, Bouygues Telecom established its position as a
truly nationwide mobile phone operator with a strong brand image and a high
level of brand awareness. By the beginning of the last quarter of 1998, one
million customers had already signed up and Bouygues Telecom is in position
to provide all the population with direct access to its network. Bouygues
Telecom's personal telephony concept, backed by bundle tariffing, user
friendliness and a strong brand, has revolutionized the soaring French
mobile market. From the beginning, Bouygues Telecom has been an innovative
market driver and is currently the only mobile operator in France to offer
EFR; this technology allows a high degree sound quality closest to the
quality of wired digital networks. Visit www.bouyguestelecom.fr for more
DR. MATERNA GMBH is Germany's largest national roaming company for SMS
traffic and SMS based content service in cooperation with national carriers
and leading news agencies. Visit www.materna.com
for more information.
FRANCE TELECOM is France's leading provider of mobile communications
services. Itineris, the France Telecom GSM service, is the largest portable
cellular phone network in France with more than 5 million subscribers at the
end of 1998. With the "World option," Itineris subscribers can call and be
called from 79 countries. France Telecom also commercializes a wide range of
offers such as Cash & Carry packs, pre-paid cards and subscription plans to
meet professional and personal needs. Visit www.itineris.tm.fr for more
GSM INFORMATION NETWORK (GIN) offers turnkey Value Added Services to Mobile
Network Operators, utilizing SMS and the Internet. GIN is recognized as the
pioneer and world leader in this field. GIN Services are available on GSM
networks in Europe, Asia and Japan. GIN's products are: Service & Content
Providing, Consulting and connectivity products for HPC's and Windows CE.
Visit www.gin.nl for more information.
OMNITEL, since 1995, holds a primary role on the telecommunications market
and is considered Europe's fastest start-up with over 5.000.000 clients, 88%
of territorial coverage and 98% of the population. The important economic
objectives reached in 1998 (turning point in the second half of 1997), made
Omnitel a concrete reality with a solid base for the future. The role of
Omnitel over the next years is that of protagonist in telecommunications
with the widest meaning: commercial proposals and technological development
will lead towards integration between wireline and mobile telephony. Visit
www.omnitel.it for more information.
SONY INTERNATIONAL (EUROPE) GMBH Sony Personal Mobile Communications Europe
(PMCE) is the GSM mobile phones division of the Sony Corporation. Sony's
global product range includes Audio/ Video, Telecommunications, Computer
products and Professional Equipment. With the Walkman, the Handycam and the
Vaio, Sony is Number One in consumer products. Satisfying the consumers
needs with innovative and easy to use products is Sony's mission. Visit
www.sony-europe.com/ for more information.
TECNOMEN OY Tecnomen is one of the leading manufacturers of enhanced
services systems including innovative Unified Messaging services for
telecommunications networks. Over the years, Tecnomen has delivered
breakthrough telecommunication solutions considered to advance communication
developments. Tecnomen's expertise is recognized worldwide. To date,
Tecnomen's systems are serving millions of subscribers throughout the world.
Visit www.tecnomen.com for more information.
TELITAL S.P.A. With the headquarters in Trieste, Italy, Telital S.p.A. is a
private company working in the telecommunications field. The company started
in 1986, and is now the sole Italian producer of cellular phones (ETACS, GSM
900, GSM 1800, Sat GLOBALSTAR, Dect). Telital has experience in the design,
development and production of telephony products for European and
International markets. The mission statement is to design, manufacture, and
to market mobile handsets with advanced technology, for maximum customer
satisfaction. The forecast production for the current year is over 2,000,000
units. Visit www.telital.com for more information.
UNISYS CORPORATION (NYSE:UIS) is more than 33,000 employees helping
customers in 100 countries apply information technology to solve their
business problems. Unisys solutions are based on a broad portfolio of
global information services including systems integration, outsourcing,
"repeatable" application solutions, consulting, network integration, remote
network management, and multivendor maintenance and support, coupled with
enterprise-class servers and associated middleware, software and storage.
Repeatable solutions are focused on key vertical markets including financial
services, transportation, telecommunications, government, publishing and
other commercial markets. Headquartered in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, in the
Greater Philadelphia area, Unisys 1997 annual revenue was $6.6 billion. The
World Wide Communications group within Unisys is a supplier of Value Added
Services systems to the telecommunications industry and is looking to
technologies based on WAP to enhance its product offerings. Visit
www.unisys.com for more information.
About the WAP Forum
The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is the de-facto world standard for wireless information and telephony services on digital mobile phones and other wireless terminals. Handset manufacturers representing over 75% of the world market across all technologies have committed to shipping WAP-enabled devices. Carriers representing nearly 100 million subscribers worldwide have joined WAP. This commitment will provide 10's of millions of WAP browser enabled products to consumers by the end of 2000. WAP allows carriers to strengthen their service offerings by providing subscribers with the information they want and need while on the go. The WAP Forum has published a global wireless protocol specification based on existing Internet standards such as XML and IP for all wireless networks. WAP Forum membership is open to all industry participants. Visit the WAP Forum Web site (www.wapforum.org) to download Version 1.0 of the Wireless Application Protocol specification. Further details and the WAP Forum membership application form are also available on the WAP Forum Web site.
NOTE to Editors: Please see the WAP Forum Web site at www.wapforum.org for a complete listing of all existing member company profiles and press contacts.
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