FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

WAP Makes a Comeback

Back in 2000, Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) was touted as the wave of the future for mobile content. However, WAP soon fell victim to the hype cycle, the bursting of the dotcom bubble, and a lack of WAP-friendly devices, and was largely forgotten.

Now, mobile carriers and content providers are rediscovering WAP, leveraging more sophisticated phones and building branded portals that drive m-commerce. Carriers are interested in WAP because it allows them to build their own portals and act as a middleman in sales. WAP portals make m-commerce easy for both customers and the carriers; carriers can charge little or nothing for WAP access, while customers can make purchases through their phones and have them billed to their account. Plus, a WAP portal gives a carrier a powerful asset that it can use to attract third-party content... and with that, new customers.

The downside, though, is that WAP typically locks customers into the carrier portal. However, some argue that later applications of WAP will make it easier for customers to more finely control content, adding in content providers regardless of the portal they use.

Source: TheFeature