Virgin Mobile unveiled its wireless application protocol (Wap) portal and handset range today, but criticised rival operators for "over-hyping" the technology.
Virgin's Recommends service links customers to information including news, sport and finance from 12 content providers. The service allows Virgin Mobile customers to access information from partners, including Lastminute.com, Virgin Radio and Yahoo, from Wap-enabled phones.
According to Virgin, too many of its rivals have disappointed users by offering confusing services which they are often unable to use. It said its new service will be the "simplest, most meaningful experience of Wap".
A Virgin Mobile spokesman said: "Virgin is about good service rather than technology. Unlike our rivals, we have put service [ahead of] being the first to use a technology and have not over-hyped what customers can do. Recommends works and is simple and easy to use."
"There has been a backlash against Wap in recent months, but that is due to [this] over-hype. We haven't linked to sites that don't actually work, and won't give customers a bad experience," he added.
Virgin has added three Wap-enabled handsets to its range: the Motorola Timeport P7389, priced at £179.99; and the Siemens M35I and S35I, both priced at £199.99. Customers will also be able to browse and bookmark sites on the phones outside the portal, although this is restricted on the Motorola phone, the spokesman said.
Virgin Mobile, which became the first UK virtual network operator in November last year, is a joint venture between Virgin and One2One.
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