RealTime IT News

Phone.com Signs Swiss WAP Deal with Orange

[London, ENGLAND] Wireless software developer Phone.com has announced a deal with Orange Communications in Switzerland to implement a WAP gateway so that Orange can improve the Internet access it offers to its users.

By adding microbrowser technology and the Phone.com UP.Link WAP Gateway, Orange will put customers in touch with a wide selection of Internet services, including e-mail, stock prices, weather reports, and cinema listings.

Orange Communications S.A. is a consortium consisting of founding partners, Orange plc, Viag Telecom Beteiligungs GmbH, The Banque Cantonale Vaudoise and Swissphone AG. Its "corporate vision" is the highly ambitious idea that wirefree services will become "the preferred personal communications tool for all communication needs."

Mike Mulica, a senior vice president at Phone.com, said the move demonstrated Phone.com's increased success in Europe. The company has now licensed its software to 77 network operators worldwide, and Orange is its second customer in Switzerland.

Wireless operators are still pressing ahead with Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), despite the many adverse comments about it in the media. An open, global specification, WAP allows users to link to Internet information -- but only to a specially prepared and very limited sub-set that bears little resemblance to normal Web content.

The great attraction of WAP is its association with the huge number of users of mobile phones, exceeding the number of those who use the wired Internet in Europe. For example, after just 12 months in the market, Orange Communications has over 0.6 million customers.

Headquartered in California, Phone.com has offices in Belfast, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Paris, Seoul, Rome and Tokyo.