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.

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