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Computer Industry Leaders Join the Wireless Application Protocol Forum

Computer Industry Leaders Join the Wireless Application Protocol Forum

Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Toshiba Are Among Seven New Members Adopting WAP Standard

REDWOOD CITY, California. January 20, 1999.

The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum ( today announced that seven international technology companies have joined as members, further demonstrating the industry's support of the wireless application protocol standard for Internet communications on wireless devices. New members include computer industry leaders Hewlett-Packard Company, Oracle Corporation and Toshiba Corporation, as well as telecom innovators Bussan Systems Integration Company, Tokyo Digital Phone, Glenayre Technologies Inc. and One 2 One. These companies joined the 71 other WAP Forum members at the Forum's meeting held last month in Kyoto, Japan, to specify industry-wide plans for releasing WAP-enabled services and applications during 1999.

The Forum also announced that its next meeting will be held Feb. 1-5 in Fort Worth, Texas, where the WAP roadmap for 1999 and beyond will be unveiled. Non-members can sign up to attend an open session and social event during the Fort Worth meeting at The week following the Fort Worth meeting, various WAP Forum members will demonstrate their support of the WAP standard in their booths at WIRELESS '99, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association's (CTIA) 14th annual convention and exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana.

"Gaining the support from computer industry leaders such as HP, Oracle and Toshiba and receiving key endorsements from innovative companies such as Bussan, Tokyo Digital Phone, Glenayre and One 2 One have strengthened the momentum behind the WAP specification," said Chuck Parrish, WAP Forum board chairman and executive vice president of Unwired Planet, Inc., a founding Forum member. "With the Forum's membership at 78 and growing, the industry has cast its vote for WAP as the single, de-facto standard for accessing the Internet -- anytime, anywhere -- on all wireless networks and devices."

Opened to general membership in January 1998, the WAP Forum today has widespread representation and support from all sectors of the telecommunications industry, including the leading infrastructure manufacturers, handset manufacturers, wireless network operators and software providers. With active industry participation, the Forum has delivered Wireless Application Protocol V1.0, a set of standard protocols designed to run on top of the Internet IP protocol and other wireless network bearers. Announced in April 1998, this vendor-neutral and network-independent open specification is the unified worldwide standard for providing Internet communications and advanced telephony services on digital mobile phones, pagers, personal digital assistants and other wireless terminals.

"WAP V1.0 is a major step in building the wireless Internet, where people- on-the-go can access the Internet through their wireless devices to get information such as e-mails, news headlines, stock reports, map directions and sports scores when they need it and where they need," added Parrish. "The WAP Forum has accomplished a lot in just one year, but we still have much work to do. As new handset technologies, network protocols and Internet standards are developed, the Forum will take an active role in shaping them for compatibility with the wireless market."

WAP provides a single industry-standard mechanism for wireless application interoperability and a standard XML-compliant markup language called WML (Wireless Markup Language). WML, which is being implemented industry-wide, will accelerate market growth by providing a clear path for application developers. WML's user-interface components map well onto existing mobile phone interfaces, capitalizing on the extremely large market penetration of mobile devices. People who use mobile phones today will immediately be able to use WAP-enabled phones and services without re-education.

New Members Support WAP Standard

"HP supports the WAP Forum's fast-paced, multi-vendor approach to delivering Internet access to mobile phone users," said Bernard Guidon, vice president and general manager of HP's Communications Industry Business Unit. "Integrating WAP's capabilities with HP's OpenCall telecom-grade service development platforms will foster new market opportunities for our customers, enabling them to introduce timely and innovative applications that combine data and voice access from mobile phones."

"Oracle views the Wireless Access Protocol as an extension to Internet computing," said Andy Felong, vice president of the Internet Applications Division at Oracle Corporation. "We have already delivered Oracle Internet Messaging with wireless Unified Messaging, and have prototyped TTML and HDML solutions to support mobile computing on cellular phones. The next step is to standardize this capability, and WAP provides an ideal solution."

"Glenayre sees a tremendous opportunity in the convergence of fixed and wireless networks," said Sonny Bettis, vice president of engineering for Glenayre Electronics ING Division. "To capitalize on this convergence, we intend to roll out our Unified Messaging Solution (UMS) to wireless carriers and their subscribers in 1999. An important aspect of the UMS product is the support of the WAP standard for enhanced data and e-mail messaging -- anytime, anywhere, anyway. Glenayre joined the WAP Forum because it provides us with both the vendor and customer perspective for unified messaging to the end device."

"Having pioneered personal communications networks, One 2 One views WAP as a key technology for maintaining its high levels of service innovation into the era of personal, mobile multimedia," said Professor Peter Ramsdale, chief engineer at One 2 One.

About the WAP Forum

The WAP Forum is an industry association that has developed the de-facto world standard for wireless information and telephony services on digital mobile phones and other wireless terminals. Handset manufacturers representing more than 75 percent of the world market across all technologies have committed to shipping WAP-enabled devices. Carriers representing nearly 100 million subscribers worldwide have joined WAP. These commitments will put 10's of millions of WAP-browser-enabled products in consumer hands by the end of 2000. WAP Forum membership is open to all industry participants.

For further details on the WAP Forum and a complete list of members, please visit the Forum's web site at The web site also includes a downloadable version of WAP V1.0.

All company, brand and product names may be trademarks that are the sole property of their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.

Prepared by Robin Cover for the The SGML/XML Web Page archive. On WAP, see also the "WAP Wireless Markup Language Specification."

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