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xAlan Bryer

Concise Guide Series

WAP Technology

Computers . . . WAP Technology

For the uninitiated, the journey into the world of technology can be a daunting one. But what we all have to remember is that computers, or at least parts thereof, surround us in every form. From your T.V., stereo, and video player, to your mobile phone, in fact they're everywhere.

For instance, most of us own or have use of a mobile phone, and until recently the nearest we had to instant messaging was the trusty old text message. Well, with the advent of new technology we can now browse basic web pages with
WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) technology and receive e-mails with basic but modified HTML (HyperText Markup Language), that sends texts and lists of options to WAP mobile phones and receives option selections back.

WAP is designed to work with just a few hundred characters and with limited controls on the phone - ideally, its just up, down and select. So for those who need to do very simple browsing, it's quite up to the job. This is enough to link to news stories, price information, traffic and business updates. Its not normally possible to browse the web effectively but there are schemes that will filter real HTML and convert it into phone-readable form. WAP can be carried by
IP (Internet Protocol) or SMS (Short Message Service). All mobile phone companies see WAP as a way of selling value-added services on top of your basic connection time and line rental charges, both of which are under great pressure as a result of market competition and penetration.

It is not an alternative to web browsing but adds more functionality to mobile phones. Much remains to be explored in terms of compatability between phones and servers. You can get WinWAP, a free windows WAP browser, from Have a look. I can say it's different, if not unusual...

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