Europe Sees Wild Flurry of WAP Deals

LONDON (02/02/2000) - Coinciding with the GSM World Congress in Cannes, mobile phone service providers, equipment vendors, media companies and even a bank this week unleashed a flurry of deals taking place all over Europe, suggesting that mobile Internet access is making its first steps into prime time.

Significantly, most of the announcements today and yesterday centered around mobile phones that use WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) technology. WAP allows mobile phones to access text information over the Internet and is quickly becoming the hottest product feature across Europe.

There were no fewer than a dozen company announcements over the past two days about new WAP products or features in Europe.

-- Nokia Corp. has launched its Nokia Artus MAX Server with a WAP portal feature that works as a platform for the creation and delivery of WAP content and services, the company announced today in Finland. The server, aimed at service providers, is available now. Nokia, in Espoo, Finland, can be contacted at +358-91-8071, or at

-- Excite UK Ltd. (a division of Excite@Home Inc.) has launched a U.K. Web portal WAP service, Excite Mobile, allowing users to access and personalize information from the Excite U.K. Web site with a WAP phone. The service works with all WAP-enabled platforms as well as on PC platforms, the company announced today in London.

Excite Mobile content will also be featured on the newly launched WAP networks from BT Cellnet Ltd. (division of British Telecommunications PLC) and Vodafone AirTouch PLC as part of agreements made with the two telecommunications companies, Excite UK said in a statement. Excite@Home in Redwood City, California, can be contacted at +1-650-569-6060, or at

-- Siemens AG, the German mobile phone maker and Yahoo Inc. have agreed to make Yahoo Internet content from its Europe and Asia Yahoo! web sites available on Siemens' new WAP mobile phones beginning in April, the two companies announced today. Siemens AG, in Munich and Berlin, can be reached at +49-89-234-0 or at Yahoo, in Santa Clara, California, can be contacted at +1-408-731-330, or at

-- Woolwich PLC, the British mortgage bank, has launched a service allowing interactive banking over WAP mobile phones, the company announced today in London. The service is part of a commercial partnership with Vodafone AirTouch and Nokia. Vodafone AirTouch, in Newbury, U.K., is at

-- CMG Telecommunications (a division of CMG PLC, based in London) demonstrated its new WAP gateway product, WAP Service Broker, at the GSM World Congress today and announced a deal with Vodafone AirTouch. The U.K. telecommunications company will be supplied with the WAP Service Broker which offers secure wireless financial transactions, the company said in a statement.

Additionally, CMG Telecommunications announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with U.S.-based applications developer SignalSoft Corp. to develop a product combining SignalSoft's Location Manager and software with CMG's WAP Service Broker product, the companies said in a joint statement. CMG PLC, in London, can be contacted at +44-207-592-4000, or at SignalSoft, in Boulder, Colorado, can be contacted at +1-303-381-3000, or at

-- Swisscom AG, the telecommunications company based in Switzerland, has launched WAP services allowing for Internet access over mobile telephones using microbrowsers made by U.S.-based Inc, the companies announced today.

Swisscom claims it is the first mobile operator in Switzerland to provide WAP services to its mobile customers in Switzerland. Swisscom can be reached at +41-31-342-9193 or at

-- announced separately today that it is opening a WAP Interoperability Testing Lab in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in April 2000.

Companies will be able to various combinations of WAP gateways and microbrowsers using test suites at the lab, the company said in a statement., in Redwood City, California, can be reached at +1-650-562-0200, or at

-- BT Cellnet (owner of Genie Internet and a division of BT) announced yesterday that it is teaming with U.S.-based calendaring company, Lexacom Inc. to develop personalized and community WAP calendaring services over the Genie Internet Web site portal. The calendaring service will include PIM (Personal Information Management) service and will first roll out as a service using SMS (Short Message Service) technology, the companies said. BT, in London, can be reached at +44-171-356-5000, or at

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