Orange has announced a major trial of mobile Internet technology in the UK that will provide mobile users with services including ITN news and online travel bookings.
Orange will use Nokia's recently launched wireless applications protocol (WAP) platform and WAP enabled mobile phone - the Nokia 7110. Orange is demonstrating the various WAP services it will trial at the Cebit exhibition in Hannover this week.
WAP is being developed by many key players in the telecomms and IT industry. The protocol makes it easier to access Internet content via handheld devices, such as mobile phones.
Orange expects 90 per cent of voice and data communications will be wireless by 2010: "This trial will bring Orange a step closer to its vision of the wirefree future," said Bob Fuller, group director of Orange in the UK.
"We are committed to trialling and introducing simple but sophisticated information services to provide extra value for our customers," said Fuller.
But Orange was not first in the UK to embrace WAP. In December, Vodafone demonstrated WAP using Ericsson's WAP proxy server and a simulated WAP handset. Vodafone expects to launch a commercial service, including providing information services from Reuters, during the second half of 1999.
At Cebit, Orange is demonstrating a variety of services that could be delivered to WAP phone users. A partnership with ITN is expected to be announced shortly to deliver news and headlines.
Natwest is demonstrating banking services and Associated New Media is providing entertainment information, such as cinema listings. Other services include traffic information, flight information and online travel booking.
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