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U.K. Train Travelers Get WAP Timetable Service

[London, ENGLAND] U.K. mobile Internet information company Kizoom has signed with Railtrack to provide a personalized rail timetable service to mobile users.

Half a million people regularly use Railtrack's Web site which has proved to be one of the Internet's most useful and efficient applications in the U.K. Users simply insert date and time parameters, plus starting point and destination, and the service immediately tells them which train to take.

Now the service is available to users of WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) phones and is scheduled to appear on several leading wireless portals.

Railtrack Property Director John O'Brien said that rail travel in the U.K. is at its highest level for over half a century and it was essential to make clear and accurate information readily available to travelers.

Nick Knowles, Kizoom's founder and chief technical officer, claimed that the new service was simple to use, even with the limited keyboard and screen of a mobile phone.

"Mobility itself is one of the killer applications for the mobile Internet, and travel information will be a key component of any portfolio of services offered by wireless portals to their customers. We are in an ideal position to become their travel information partner of choice," said Knowles.

Nick Knowles has been the technical driver of two other successful companies, as co-founder of CASE tool vendor Synon, acquired by Sterling US $79 million in 1998, and with Java developer Object Technology International for which he started a London laboratory.

The Railtrack application from Kizoom is thought to be the first personalized travel information service for the mobile Internet. To use it, travelers log on to register their personal details at the Railtrack site, after which content relevant to each person can be accessed from a WAP phone.

At the launch of the Railtrack service Knowles said that Kizoom intended eventually to bring together information from other modes of public transport such as tube, coach and bus to create a seamless service for the user.