Submitted By: Varun Kukna
Roll. No. 232/03 Final Year Electrical Engineering

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Introduction WAP Forum Why do we need WAP? Features of WAP Components of WAP Advantages of WAP WAP from the Point of View of security 8. Goals of the Wireless Application Protocol 9. Controversies Surrounding WAP 10.Design and solution 11.WAP protocol stack 12.WAP Applications 13.Future of WAP 14.Conclusion 15.References

The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is an open, global specification that empowers mobile users with wireless devices to easily access and interact with information and services instantly. Wireless application protocol (WAP) is an application environment and set of communication protocols for wireless devices designed to enable manufacturer, vendor, and technology-independent access to the Internet and advanced telephony services. Most of people could just imagine the possibility of retrieving all the information and data needed from anywhere at anytime. For example it is a blessing to access our mail from a remote place far from our PC, while flying in an airplane, for instance. People need freedom from their PCs - or even their laptops. Consumers need to read news, check football scores and monitor share prices wherever they are. Television and cinema listings, cash machine locations and information about traffic congestion or train times are other uses. Email is the next big goal - perfect for tiny screens and users on the move. On-phone shopping will come; and there are countless problems and needs - for example, giving sales people instant mobile access to stock data. The new Internet reality is that of wireless networks, providing service to legions of miniaturized, hand-held mobile devices. This places an entirely new set of requirements on the underlying communications protocols - they must provide the power efficiency demanded by hand-held wireless devices, together with the bandwidth efficiency demanded by wide area wireless networks. At some point, the wireless data communications industry must agree on a common set of standard protocols that satisfies these requirements. The wireless industry is populated by a number of disparate constituencies and self-interests. Among these constituencies are the technical community, with its fundamental mandate to create sound engineering solutions, and the business community, ultimately driven by the pursuit of profit and marketplace advantage. The differing agendas of these constituencies frequently bring them into conflict. Yet better, if any new technology could use some existing devices like cellular phones and palm notebooks. But phone screens have limited display, small memory and slow processor. So the development of new protocol of communicating had naturally emerged. Over recent years people were looking for smaller and faster devices, combined with the need of information access on the road. This needs opened the opportunity for the development of the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). The WAP is an industry standard, defining a communication protocol and application environment that allows us to access the Internet content and services from mobile phones.

What Exactly Is WAP?
In 1997, several companies organized an industry group called the WAP Forum. This group produces the WAP specification, a (long and detailed) series of technical documents that define standards for implementing wireless network applications. WAP specifies architecture based on a layer that follows the OSI model fairly closely. The WAP model, or stack as it is commonly known, is illustrated below.

The WAP Model

Application Layer
WAP's application layer is the Wireless Application Environment (WAE). WAE directly supports WAP application development with Wireless Markup Language (WML) instead of HTML and WML Script instead of JavaScript. WAE also includes the Wireless Telephony Application Interface (WTAI, or WTA for short) that provides a programming interface to telephones for initiating calls, sending text messages, and other networking capability.

Session Layer
WAP's session layer is the Wireless Session Protocol (WSP). WSP is the equivalent to HTTP for WAP browsers. WAP involves browsers and servers just like the Web, but HTTP was not a practical choice for WAP because of its relative inefficiency on the wire. WSP conserves precious bandwidth on wireless links; in particular, WSP works with relatively compact binary data where HTTP works mainly with text data.

Transaction, Security, and Transport Layers
These three protocols can be thought of as "glue layers" in WAP:
• • •

Wireless Transaction Protocol (WTP) Wireless Transaction Layer Security (WTLS) Wireless Datagram Protocol (WDP)

WTP provides transaction-level services for both reliable and unreliable transports. It prevents duplicate copies of packets from being received by a destination, and it supports retransmission, if necessary, in cases where packets are dropped. In this respect, WTP is analogous to TCP. However, WTP also differs from TCP. WTP is essentially a pared-down TCP that squeezes some extra performance from the network. WTLS provides authentication and encryption functionality analogous to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) in Web networking. Like SSL, WTLS is optional and used only when the content server requires it.

WDP implements an abstraction layer to lower-level network protocols; it performs functions similar to UDP. WDP is the bottom layer of the WAP stack, but it does not implement physical or data link capability. To build a complete network service, the WAP stack must be implemented on some low-level legacy interface not technically part of the model. These interfaces, called bearer services or bearers, can be IP-based or non-IP based.

Bearer Interfaces
WAP supports dial-up networking using IP and Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) as the bearer interface underneath WDP. It also supports Short Message Service (SMS) and General Packet Radio System (GPRS). SMS passes text and binary data between digital phones. GPRS is a relatively new technology that implements faster, "always-on" connections for wireless devices.

WTLS: basic issues
WTLS, the Wireless Transport Layer Security protocol, operates just above the transport layer in the OSI protocol stack, as can be seen in figure. WTLS establishes a session between a client (the mobile phone) and a server (the WAP gateway). This phase is called the handshake phase. During this handshake phase, security parameters used to protect the session are negotiated. These include the encryption protocols, signature algorithms, public keys, premaster secrets, WTLS includes support for both a full handshake, with negotiation of all security parameters, and for a lightweight handshake in which the security parameters of another session are reused. Once a session has been established, all the communication between the client and the server is encrypted. WTLS also support the feature to suspend a session and resume it later. This way, sessions can last for days. The longer the session remains valid, the longer the secret keys remain valid, and thus, the higher the probability for an attacker to find a secret key. That is why WTLS allows keys to be renegotiated during a session. WTLS also uses certificates. Because certificates were not really designed to be used by mobile devices, WAP defines a new format of certificate that is optimized for storage on mobile devices and transmission over wireless networks. These certificates have the same functionality as ordinary X.509 certificates, but rely on the server to perform more of the processing under some circumstances.

WAP Forum
In February 1998, the founding members of WAP Forum published the first draft of the WAP specification. The goal of WAP Forum is to bring together companies for creating a global wireless protocol specification which will operate both with differing types of wireless device and network technologies. It was established in 1997 by Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Unwired Planet and now has over than 90 members, which together represent over 90 % of the global handset market. The objectives of the WAP Forum are:

1>To bring Internet content and advanced data services to digital cellular phones and other wireless terminals. 2>To create a global wireless protocol specification that will work across differing wireless network technologies. 3>To enable the creation of content and applications that scale across a very wide range of bearer networks and device types. 4>To embrace and extend existing standards and technology wherever appropriate. After publishing the first draft, WAP Forum held many open meetings to discuss the draft specification.

Why do we need WAP?
Having the performance and data transfer capacities of the common desktop computers in mind, the web designers constructed the Internet technology for devices as powerful as those computers. Hand-held wireless devices present more a constrained computing environment with less powerful CPU's, less memory, restricted power consumption, smaller displays and different input devices. Similarly, wireless data networks have less bandwidth, more latency, less connection stability and less predictable availability than conventional wired networks. Also, the operators aim to provide the users advanced services in more a usable and attractive way. The WAP specification meets the mobile network characteristics and operators needs by filling the special requirements of hand-held wireless terminals by using existing network technology and introducing new technology where appropriate.

Why is WAP good?
Previous implementations of wireless internet access tried to shoehorn the graphic-rich web into a tiny screen, on a slow device, over a slow connection. Other implementations required a separate server or proxy software and heavy content redesign. WAP allows the content provider to re-purpose its content through XML. This allows users to access site data via an HTML or WAP browser. Think Mobile makes their news headlines available over WAP. I was told by one of the Think Mobile engineers that the WAP content just required a script to re-render the page into WML—the data is the same as on their news page. As vendors began offering WAP-enabled devices, more and more sites are going to offer WAP-based services.

Features of WAP
WAP has many key features that are representative of what the WAP Forum claims the protocol to be:

• Interoperability: The key to WAP acceptance is that it operates as an open license free standard. This will allow vendors to use it with their wireless products and keep the technology growing. • Scalability: Works with many transport protocols and on a wide range of hand held devices so that a wider range of users can be reached regardless of what wireless device is being used.

As vendors produce newer and more various forms of wireless products the WAP must easily adapt to new technology to ensure continued usability. • Flexibility: WAP must be able to work well with many applications requirements. This will allow many vendors to be able to play to the same tune when they are furthering the development of their products. • Reusability: Extends and adapts to existing Internet standards so that as the standard is further developed it can be added to and continue to grow.

• Extensibility:

WAP Architecture Overview
The WAP programming model is similar to the Internet model. This provides some benefits, including the familiar architecture and programming environment as well as the ability to use existing tools. Not only Internet standards have been used where possible, but also optimizations and extensions have been made .WAP specifies two essential elements of wireless communication: an end-to-end application protocol and an application environment based on a browser. The application protocol is a layered communication protocol that is embedded in each WAP user agent. The network side includes a server component implementing the other end of the protocol that is capable of communicating with any WAP user agents. The role of the server component is also to act as a gateway to route the request of a user agent to an application server. Physically the gateway can be located in a telecom or a computer network, in order to build a bridge between the two different networks. WAP provides a standard to enable running the same application in different user agents. The standard consists of a browser and a script interpreter. The browser acts like a conventional web browser but instead of HTML, it understands content written in Wireless Markup Language or briefly, WML. Also instead of JavaScript interpreter, WAP browser has a build in script interpreter for running applications written in a script language called WMLScript. Furthermore the browser includes some libraries to allow the application to use certain services of the user agents. Both WML and WMLScript are designed to be used in wireless networks with narrowband data transfer rates, so they are both binary encoded to optimize the data transmission efficiency.

When the mobile device wants to connect to the Internet, all the communication passes through the WAP gateway. This WAP gateway translates all the protocols used in WAP to the protocols used on the Internet. For example, the WAP proxy encodes (and decodes) the content to reduce the size of the data that has been sent over the wireless link. Another examples the WTLS protocol. The communication between the mobile device and the WAP gateway is secured with WTLS. WTLS is only used between the mobile device and the WAP gateway, while SSL/TLS can be used between the gateway and the Internet. This means that the WAP gateway first has to decrypt the encrypted WTLS-traffic and then has to encrypt it again (using SSL/TLS).

Components of WAP
The major components of the WAP specification are:

Protocol Support

IP networks: Protocols supported include the wireless "profiled" versions of TCP (called WPTCP), TLS, and HTTP (called WP-HTTP). Non-IP networks: Wireless Session Protocol (WSP), Wireless Transaction Protocol (WTP), Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS), and Wireless Datagram Protocol (WDP).

Application Environment

WML Specification: WML is a markup language like HTML based on XML and XHTML (the XML version of HTML). WML is designed for devices with small screens, limited processing power, and low bandwidth connection to the servers. WML Script Specification: WML Script is a scripting language, similar to JavaScript, for running code on clients. WAP Micro Browser: The WAP micro browser is designed especially for operating in the limited resource environment of WAP devices.

Services and Capabilities

Real-time Content Delivery: WAP provides facilities for asynchronously "pushing" content to WAP devices allowing the immediate delivery of real-time messages, alerts, and other content that needs to be delivered immediately. Customization of User Profile: WAP allows servers to customize content delivered to users based on user preferences and client device capabilities. Telephony Support: WAP enables telephone services to be operated from within a data environment. Consequently, WAP phones can operate as integrated voice and web devices.

Advantages of WAP
Using WAP, which is a global and open standard, has the following advantages: Portability: A WAP application on one network should be easily portable to a different environment with little or no change. The alternative to using WAP is to write applications using proprietary protocols. Such applications will require substantial code rewriting when porting to a different type of network (examples of network types are GSM and CDMA), different bearer protocol (examples of bearer protocols are SMS, short message service or CSD, circuit switched data), or a new device type. User Experience: WAP aims to enhance the user experience by addressing characteristics of wireless environment. Narrow bandwidth connection. Devices with small screens, limited battery use without recharging, limited memory, and limited processing power. Cost and Application Development Time Reduction: New services can be added quickly and at a lower cost using WAP. This is made possible by the easy availability of standardized WAP tools and platforms such as WAP software development tool kits, WAP gateways, and WAP devices. Standard for linking mobile units to the Internet: There has never been an established standard for connection mobile units to the internet that could be used across all hand held devices. WAP will provide this in an efficient manner as it continues to grow and be developed. Founded by major leaders in the industry: Many large leaders in the industry have started the WAP Forum and are staking their reputation on its success in becoming an industry standard. Forum continually growing in membership size: Due to the various originating members of the forum other large companies are gradually joining the forum and adding to the success of the protocol. Way to rectify Mobile information services bad track record: There have been many security issues related to wireless protocols. WAP is working on making sure that as the protocol evolves that these security risks are addressed. Defines an acceptable functional user interface: Users must be able to easily adapt to an interface in order to be motivated to use it. Users prefer that regardless of which wireless product they choose that the interface will be similar across the board. That is why the WAP has decided to use a mini browser interface similar to a web browser interface. Optimizes standard web protocols:WAP decided up front upon establishment of the forum that they wanted to build on existing technologies to further the industry rather than creating a whole new protocol. This appeals to developers because they don’t have to learn a new model to work by.

Provides a secure wireless connection: Users are not only very concerned with the ability to view their email but to also be able to do this in a secure manner. If they don’t feel they can do this then the technology is of no use to them. WAP forum has made secure connection a very important part of developing the standard. Provides a way to implement new functionality: In working along the same lines as the open standard for development vendors want to provide the ability for new functionality to be added to their existing products. Added functionality is what helps sell the product to new and existing users.2F 94 998DFDB5 DE3D F8B5 06E4 A146 Adapts new standards for the Industry: Not only does the WAP forum want to work from existing standards they also want to be able to contribute new standards that can be used throughout the industry. This shows that they are not just working off established technology but are also contributing new technology to the industry. Wireless Application Development: Considering the range of wireless solutions available, it makes the most sense for wireless applications developed for a broad market to take advantage of WAP. Such an application can take advantage of the broad coverage of a mobile WAN, while using open standards. As an added benefit, WAP gateways make it possible to use Internet tools to build wireless solutions. When doing so, however, developers must keep the limitations of the technology in mind.

WAP from the Point of View of security
WAP can provide end-to-end security between the two endpoints. If the browser and the server explicitly express the need to use end-to-end security, they must communicate directly in order to be able to use the WAP protocols. Also, if the WAP proxy is trusted or it is known to locate in the same physical place as the WAP client, the end-to-end security can be achieved .When one specifies an URL, all the variables that the URL uses are accessible. To overcome this security risk, WML provides elements controlling access control. The most common security risks occur when a WAP client voluntarily requests a harmful service masking it as a legitimate service. This may occur by directly accessing a card in the service that has sensitive operations, by gaining access to variables in the service that have confidential information or by clearing the variables. In order to avoid this, the service should use scripts to check that the request comes from an allowed user.

WAP services
PDA and PC users can install a WAP browser on their machines. But cellular phone service providers are the most visible proponents of a WAP world. On the Sprint system using the WAP browser, users can search the net, buy books, and find various forms of

information. And Sprint, at the head of the WAP-pack, is able to add significant value to their existing voice offerings with WAP. Through the WAP service, Sprint generates more billable minutes, creates a new relationship with users (which affects customer retention), and provides access to enhanced services already existing on the web.

Goals of the Wireless Application Protocol
      Independent of wireless network standard Open to all Will be proposed to the appropriate standards bodies Applications scale across transport options Applications scale across device types Extensible over time to new networks and transports

How WAP Works
Probably the most important factor in the birth of wireless Internet has been the proliferation of digital cell phones in the last few years. The expanding network of digital cellular and personal communication services (PCS) has created a solid foundation for wireless Internet services. WAP is designed to work on any of the existing wireless services, using standards such as:
• • • •

Short Message Service (SMS) High-Speed Circuit-Switched Data (CSD) General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD)

WAP uses Wireless Markup Language (WML), which includes the Handheld Device Markup Language (HDML) developed by WML can also trace its roots to extensible Markup Language (XML). A markup language is a way of adding information to your content that tells the device receiving the content what to do with it. The best known markup language is Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Unlike HTML, WML is considered a meta language. Basically, this means that in addition to providing predefined tags, WML lets you design your own markup language components. WAP also allows the use of standard Internet protocols such as UDP, IP and XML.

There are three main reasons why wireless Internet needs the Wireless Application Protocol:
• •

Transfer speed Size and readability


Most cell phones have data transfer rates of 14.4 Kbps or less. Compare this to a typical 56 Kbps modem, or a cable modem connection. Most Web pages today are full of graphics that would take an unbearably long time to download at 14.4 Kbps. Wireless Internet content is typically text-based in order to solve this problem.

Controversies Surrounding WAP
As with any protocol or industry standard there exists limiting factors and proponents to the standard or technology. WAP is no different and has the following limitations: Less Bandwidth: Due to the fact that wireless products use less bandwidth they are unable to transfer large amounts of data. This can be very restrictive in areas such as receiving email and responding to email. Less Connection Stability: There is no guaranteed continued connection with the handheld wireless device. The server could drop connection during a transfer session without notice and the transfer would have to start over. Less Predictable Availability: Not all networks natively support the wireless application protocol so availability of resources tends to be limited. Push Operation is not specified: Not all handheld devices can support data being pushed to them. The handheld client is dependent on the standards the server uses to push the data. Lack of cookies for session management: Not having cookies available for holding the session together, WAP uses indexes in URL instead. This is because many handhelds don’t support cookies in HTTP header information. Premature encryption endpoint, doesn’t encrypt to the Gateway proxy server: This is due to the fact that the Handheld device doesn’t have capability to talk directly to the Host. Protocol translation issues prevent the endpoint being the Host therefore it is the Gateway instead. Small downloadable unit size: WAP doesn’t yet support any form of compression. The WML is also limited to 1,400 bytes. Therefore the program has to be extremely code efficient, of which most are not. Very few handsets support WAP: Most handhelds to date do not support the use of WAP. This is primarily due to the lack of standardization and industry acceptance.

WAP Standard is incomplete: To date the WAP standard is still under improvement. There is no final standard that exists today meaning that as vendors develop their products to work with the protocol they could be forced to change things based on how WAP changes.

WAP also has many problems:
♦ It is very difficult to configure WAP phones for new WAP services, with 20 or so different parameters needing to be entered to gain access to a WAP service. ♦ Compared with the installed base of Short Message Service (SMS) compliant phones, the relative number of handsets supporting WAP is tiny. WAP is a protocol that runs on top of an underlying bearer. None of the existing GSM bearers is for WAP. The Short Message Service (SMS), Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD) and Circuit Switched Data (CSD) are optimized for WAP. ♦ The WAP standard is incomplete, with key elements such as Push (proactive sending of information to mobile devices) and wireless telephony (updating address reports and the like) included in the WAP 1.2, standardized in late 1999 and first expected to be implemented in the Spring of 2000. ♦ There are many WAP Gateway vendors out there competing against each other with largely the same standardized product. ♦ Other protocols such as SIM Application Toolkit and Mobile Station Application Execution Environment are respectively already widely supported or designed to supercede WAP. ♦ WAP services are expected to be expensive to use since the tendency is to be on-line for a long Circuit Switched Data (CSD) call as features such as interactivity and selection of more information are used by the end user. Without specific tariff initiatives, there are likely to be some surprised WAP users when they see their mobile phone bill for the first time after starting using WAP.

WAP stands for Wireless Application Protocol, the standard for wireless computing managed by a consorting of vendors called WAP Forum. WAP does for wireless devices what HTTP does for WEB browsers; it allows them to become clients in an Internet based client/server world. WAP is a protocol, a data transport mechanism. In many ways it is similar to HTTP, WAP is also built on top of established standards, such as IP, URL, and XML. But WAP was designed from ground up for wireless computing, to accommodate devices with limitations:

♦ Devices with limited processing power and memory ♦ Limited battery life and power ♦ Small display ♦ Limited data input and user interaction ♦ Limited bandwidth and connection speed ♦ Frequent instable (poor connection). WAP is actually not a single protocol, but a collection of protocols and standards that make up a complete lightweight protocol stack along with some special markup and scripting language, which together define a complete solution.

WAP is needed for several reasons:
♦ It provides a standardized way of linking the Internet to mobile phones, thereby linking two of the hottest industries anywhere. ♦ Its founding members include the major wireless vendors of Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola, plus a newcomer ♦ By April 2000, the WAP Forum had over 350 member companies.

WAP protocol stack
Abbreviation WAE WSP WTP WTLS WDP Name Description Wireless Application Environment Wireless Session Protocol Wireless Transaction Protocol Wireless Transport Layer Security Wireless Datagram Protocol

Wireless Application Environment (WAE)

The Wireless Application Environment (WAE) is the top-most level in the WAP architecture. It is based on WWW and Mobile Telephony technologies. The primary objective of the WAE is to provide the operators and service providers an interoperable environment on which they can build applications and services which, in turn, can be used in a wide variety of hand-held client terminals. WAE includes the micro-browser that contains functionality for using not only WML and WML Script as previously stated, but also Wireless Telephony Application, namely

(WTA and WTAI) -telephony services and programming interfaces as well as content formats including well-defined data formats, images, phone book records and calendar information.

Wireless Session Protocol (WSP)
The Wireless Session Protocol provides the Wireless Application Environment a consistent interface with two services: connection-oriented service to operate above the Transaction Layer Protocol (WTP) and a connectionless service that operates above either secure or non-secure datagram service (WDP). Currently the protocols of the WSP family provide HTTP/1.1 functionality and semantics in a compact encoding, long lived session state with session suspend and resume capabilities, a common facility for reliable and unreliable data push as well as a protocol feature negotiation. These protocols are optimized to be used in low-bandwidth bearer networks with relative long latency in order to connect a WAP client to a HTTP server. [

Wireless Transaction Protocol (WTP)
The Wireless Transaction Protocol operates efficiently over either secure or non-secure wireless datagram networks. It provides three different kinds of transaction services, namely unreliable one-way, reliable one-way and reliable two-way transactions. This layer also includes optional user-to-user reliability by triggering the confirmation of each received message. To reduce the number of messages sent, the feature of delaying acknowledgements can be used

Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS)
The Wireless Transport Layer Security protocol is based on Transport Layer Security (TLS) or formerly known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). It is designed to be used with other WAP protocols and to support narrow-band networks. It uses data encryption with a method that is negotiated at the start of the session to provide privacy, data integrity, authentication and denial-of-service protection. The latter is needed in cases when data is replayed or not properly verified. When that happens, WTLS detects the misuse and rejects the data in order to make many typical denial-of-service attacks harder to accomplish. It is up to the applications to enable or disable WTLS features. Whether that happens, it depends to their security requirements and the characteristics of the underlying network, namely, does it use security services at the lower layer.

Wireless Datagram Protocol (WDP)
The Wireless Datagram Protocol in WAP architecture covers the Transmission Layer Protocols in an Internet model. As a general transport service, WDP offers to the upper layers an invisible interface independent of the underlying network technology used. In consequence of the interface common to transport protocols, the upper layer protocols of the WAP architecture can operate independent of the underlying wireless network. By letting only the transport layer

deal with physical network-dependent issues, global interoperability can be acquired using mediating gateways. The bearer services, over which WAP is designed to operate, include short message, circuit-switched data and packet data services. Since the bearers offer different types of quality of service with respect to throughput, error rate and delays, the WDP is designed to either compensate for or tolerate these changes. Also, WDP lists all the bearers that are supported and the techniques applied when transmitting data over a certain bearer. These lists will change with new bearers being added as the wireless market grows.

Servers and Gateways
WAP devices connect to servers to retrieve and send information in much the same way as web browsers connect to HTTP servers. In fact WAP devices connect to both WAP and HTTP server. In the same way that HTTP servers can be used to serve web content, many of the tools and development environment and languages can be used to develop Web applications can also be used to develop WAP applications. This includes Perl, ASP, ColdFusion, Java and more.

WAP Devices and emulators
WAP client are devices, mostly phones, with common characteristics: ♦ An integrated browser called a micro-browser ♦ A mechanism for user input As expected, every device been different, the capability and futures on each differs too. WAP is designed to be device independent; the code for one device should work on all devices. But different devices implement different future in different ways, and that makes for inconsistent development environment. So WAP developers must test the code they write on as many devices as possible. A solution to this problem developers use an emulator: a software program that simulate WAP devices in the computer.

Just as Web developer write HTML; WAP developers write a markup language to create WAP applications. As WAP devices have a specific user interface requirement and restrictions, the use of HTML is not an option. For example WAP devices do not have a pointing devices, keyboard, large screen or real multimedia support. With all these limitations and restrictions a special language was created for WAP: WML, the wireless markup language.

Comparing WAP Technology to the Web Feature Transport Markup Scripting WEB HTTP HTML JavaScript WAP WAP WML WMLScript

WML is a client-side markup language, and it is used by devices (known as "user agents") to render and display content, WML content is generally created in two forms: Static files and Dynamic files. If you are creating static files, you do not have to worry about specifying MIME types. The WAP or HTTP server usually does this for you when it sees the WML file extension (assuming the Web server is configured correctly ). But if you are creating dynamic content, your files will not have a WML extension .

WAP Applications
WAP support is emerging in more and more existing mobile hardware and software suppliers products. These applications help to increase the productivity of employees allowing them to have continuous access to various resources. Specific areas of applications that are being expanded to include the support of WAP are in the following: • Person to Person Messaging • Voice and Fax Mail Notifications • Unified Messaging • Internet Email • Prepayment • Ring tones • Mobile Commerce • Affinity Programs • Mobile Banking • Chat • Information Services The earliest forms of WAP applications were news feeds, stock quotes, and weather forecasts.

Because WAP is a protocol designed to work over any mobile network, its use will continue to increase as more sophisticated data transmission technologies are introduced (e.g. GPRS, EDGE (Extended Data for Global Evolution) and W-CDMA (WidebandCDMA)). As the bandwidth available to mobile terminals and the quality of displays improve, WAP can be enhanced to provide as effective an internet viewing experience as is possible on

fixed terminals. In a few years we will treat the wireless internet and WAP no differently than we treat cellular phones and the internet now—they will be essential tools and they will be ubiquitous. But right now, WAP content is like the early days of the net—very little content and not all that useful. I heard the comment that wireless

WAP provides a markup language and a transport protocol that opens the possibilities of the wireless environment and give players from all levels of the industry the opportunity to access an untapped market that is still in its infancy. The bearer-independent nature of WAP has proved to be a long-awaited breath of fresh air for an industry riddled with multiple proprietary standards that have suffocated the advent of a new wave of mobile-Internet communications. WAP is an enabling technology that, through gateway infrastructure deployed in mobile operator's network, will bridge the gap between the mobile world and the Internet, bringing sophisticated solutions to mobile users, independent of the bearer and network. Backed by 75 percent of the companies behind the world's mobile telephone market and the huge development potential of WAP, the future for WAP looks bright. Some critics and secondguessers have pondered the need for a technology such as WAP in the marketplace. With the widespread proliferation of HTML, is yet another markup language really required? As we’ve discussed here, in a word, YES! WAP’s use of the deck of cards “pattern” and use of binary file distribution meshes well with the display size and bandwidth constraints of typical wireless devices. Scripting support gives us support for client-side user validation and interaction with the portable device again helping to eliminate round trips to remote servers. WAP is a young technology that is certain to mature as the wireless data industry as a whole matures; however, even as it exists today, it can be used as an extremely powerful tool in every software developer’s toolbox. Internet is like drug rehab for people hooked on wired internet (that's me). WAP definitely fits this description until useful things can be done. But soon, the WAP world will reach a mass that will drive an exponential growth in WAP content and applications. My feeling is that for now, WAP is interesting. But in 6 months, when there are more useful applications available to WAP devices, such as unified messaging, WAP will be worth the effort and expense. Indeed, the more cross-dressers who sit in the WAP and HTML worlds, unified messaging, the more useful WAP devices become. As an indication of the importance of applications in the WAP world,, the creator of WAP, recently gobbled up and other online application service providers. These purchases position as prime application service provider in the wireless and WAP market. As it is, most WAP content is dull and there is little reason to believe that this will change. Wireless handsets are currently too limited to offer more than a monochrome screen and text applications. WAP's fate will be determined by its functionality and consumer desire to stay connected while on the move.

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