HCI blog

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A Brief History Of WAP

Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) allows a user to bring Internet content on their mobile phone.

WAP's development began during the middle of the 1990's. During this period the two major manufactures; Nokia and Ericsson, were interested in providing such sophisticated technologies to gain a competitive advantage in the mobile information market. This competition resulted in various methods being implemented; Nokia developed Narrow Band Sockets (NBS) and Tagged Text Markup Language (TTML) where as Ericsson developed Intelligent Terminal Transfer Protocol (ITTP). A third player was Unwired Planet's who developed Handheld Device Markup Language (HDML).

In 1997 the WAP forum was founded. The forum’s main aim was to bring together the various technologies by a standardised protocol. This meant developers would have to follow similar guidelines, set by the common protocols and technologies at the time. The significance of this was to prevent the market becoming too fragmented by each manufacturer developing their own specialised technology. Also it would prevent the problem of incompatibility between users.

WAP is a collection of various standards to be used when developing such wireless systems. It is not a single entity.

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