RealTime IT News

Nokia Forms Partnership with IBM, HP, Nocom in WAP Deal

Nokia announced this week that it is working with Hewlett Packard, IBM and Scandinavian e-commerce company Nocom to develop a solution for easy access to e-commerce sites from mobile phones.

The four partners say they plan to bring out a new over-the-air WAP solution during the first half of 2000.

Pertti Lounamaa, vice president of Nokia Internet Communications, said the new technnology being developed would perform a crucial function in the Mobile Internet.

When the Nokia technology is ready, consumers should find it easy to access mobile commerce sites from a WAP-enabled phone.

First, the user locates a mobile-enabled e-commerce site with a conventional PC by browsing the Internet, then clicks on an icon to input the appropriate mobile phone number. The new Nokia technology is designed to adjust the settings automatically to enable the user to access the site wirelessly, with no need to make any other input by phone.

European managers in large corporations are putting great faith and huge investment into the infrastructure of the Mobile Internet. However, whether it will work as envisaged is far from clear.

"Ease-of-use is one of the key advantages mobile phones have over PCs today, particularly for buying things over the Web," claimed Mark Bregman, general manager IBM's Pervasive Computing Division.

Bregman went on to say that Nokia's new WAP technology makes it even easier by taking all of the configuration headaches and "sucking them into the infrastructure where they belong" away from the user.

Nokia will integrate its new technology into the Nokia WAP Server, its open server platform for mobile applications.

Nearing completion, the solution is currently in beta with selected partners.