The new chief executive of the Wap Forum vowed that the ailing technology will get better and will usher in a new age of mobile communications.
Bob Brown admitted that the technology was not used by "50 to 100 million users" but one day it would be.
He said that the first versions of Wireless Application Protocol (Wap) were un-mpressive and tough to use, but were still the only thing some 20 million people can currently use on their mobile phones.
"Most don't, because Wap is hard to set up, and it takes a long time tolog on and find the wireless websites," Brown said.
The connections are "notoriously unstable" and, with exceptions such as BT's Genie, there are few attractive services, he added.
However, Brown said that in Japan, i-mode technology had shown how good Wap-likeservices could be.
"It indicates mobile phone users are eager to use mobile data services, butonly if they offer value and are easy to use," he said.
Brown added that it was more reasonable to compare the first Wap versions withDOS. "Wap is a child that's growing out of its infancy," he said, adding that "the new version 2.0 of Wap is at best a toddler."
Brown said his new role will be to persuade wireless telecom operators, software developers and handset manufacturers to embrace the new version,after the disappointment of the first version.
He has an uphill battle. No-one supports Wap 2.0, although there are indications that mobile Multimedia Messaging, a feature of Wap 2.0, willbe available by the middle of next year.
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