Go to wap.cmclick.com using your WAP-enabled mobile phones to get access cmclick information wirelessly.
As the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) has become a new standard for mobile
internet, and new services are opening all the time, people are getting
used to the services. The keyword on the WAP hype has been "mobile internet"
but in fact the services can be used as efficiently when accessed from
your PC, and it does not matter if you are mobile or connected with a Local
Area Network (LAN).
The Wireless Internet promises
to explode in popularity in the coming years. It will take browsing the
web to new levels of ease and use. Information will be at your fingertips
while on the go. Shopping will take on an entirely new meaning done anywhere
and anytime. This is the next step in global communications where WML and
WMLScript will provide much of the functionality on this new frontier.
This section of CMclick,
is intended to help you understand this wonderful technology and encourage
its use. We will provide you with an easy to understand "behind the scenes"
explanation of the technology. Frequently Asked Questions are also available
to de-mystify the most common inquiries concerning WAP, how WAP works,
and how to use WAP products. We offer a glossary as well, to keep you up-to-date
on the lingo surrounding WAP.
This section will evolve
as the technology evolves. As the need arises, more features will be added
Asked WAP Questions
Here you can find answers
to all your questions about WAP: what is it, what's it good for, how can
you use it and others.
What is WAP?
WAP stands for Wireless
Application Protocol. It is a set of standards that enable Internet-like
applications for mobile devices.
Today, WAP is a method of
browsing "mini-webpages" on your mobile phone or PDA (Personal Digital
Assistant). The key difference of WAP as compared to the Web is that WAP
is designed and optimised for devices with small screens and slow data
connections. Therefore WAP pages consist mainly of text and/or black and
What are WML and WMLScript,
WML (short for Wireless
Markup Language) is the language WAP pages are written in. Being a tag-based
display language, it is quite similar to HTML, the language used to create
ordinary webpages. In close comparison, however, some key differences emerge:
WML is very simple, no nested tables can be used, font options are limited
and the pages have to be quite small to avoid extended downloading times.
Though ordinary HTML pages cannot be viewed on a WAP enabled device, WML
is fully compliant with XML, the new meta-language currently being developed.
Why is WML used then, instead
of HTML? The most important reason is that WML requires very little bandwidth
resources compared to HTML. With the introduction of technologies that
provide higher bandwidth for wireless devices, however, this reason will
become less important. WML is also easire to render on the client-side
since it is based on strict XML specifications.
Just like WML carries strong
has been modified to fit the limitations of the WAP environment.
Who controls WAP?
WAP standards are decided
upon by an organisation called the WAP Forum
How does it work?
First, the user's device
(mobile phone, hand-held computer..) contacts a server called WAP Gateway.
This is done either trough a data phone call or using short text messages
When a WAP Gateway receives
a request, it makes another request to the content server, for example,
a news agency. The content server is actually just a normal Web server
which is enabled to serve WAP files in addition to normal WWW files. The
WAP Gateway then checks the content is OK by format, packs it up for wireless
transfer and then sends it to the user.
Finally, the user's device
unpacks the data and renders the page for display. If the content page
contained images, similar requests are made to get them one by one.
Where can I find more
information on WAP and WML?
WAP Forum is an industry
association comprising more than 200 members including the world's leading
mobile phone manufacturers that concentrates on furthering WAP development.
Their website (http://www.wapforum.org/) is a good source of up-to-date
information on WAP, especially if you're interested in the technical side
Probably the most comprehensive
collection of WAP related questions and answers can currently be found
How can I use WAP services?
To access WAP services,
you need a WAP-capable mobile phone such as Nokia 7110 or the Ericsson
T68. Additionally, you might need to contact your phone operator about
allowing WAP use on your phone account.
You can also preview WAP
services using a WAP emulator, such as the WinWAP browser for Windows
PC's, which you can download at www.winwap.org.
What kind of WAP services
As on the Internet, there
are innumerable different kinds of services available on WAP. WAP services
include news, sports, entertainment, shopping, finance and many others.
WAP is growing at an ever-expanding
rate, and soon you can expect to find almost any service on WAP too that
the Internet currently offers.
Can I shop on WAP?
Yes. There are many online
shops, where you can buy anything from books to flowers or movie tickets
on your handset.
Currently, most WAP shops
won't allow you to pay for the goods, as WAP payment systems are still
at an early stage. In Finland and Sweden, some banks already offer WAP
payment services that allows you to pay for your purchases using special
access codes acquired from the bank. There are numerous projects around
the world to develop WAP payment systems and in the very near future mobile
commerce will be as common as a quick stop at Amazon.com nowadays.
Can I read my e-mail on
Yes, you can. There are
numerous WAP services that allow you to set up a new e-mail address or
access your existing e-mail account.
How come WAP is so slow?
WAP may sometimes seem a
bit slow. The current access speed is 9.6 kilobits per second, as compared
to the computer modems today which run at 56.6 kilobits/s. Just to solve
the problem, WAP pages are much smaller than Web pages and they can contain
only black and white images.
WAP will soon be getting
faster, powered by new technologies such as HSCSD and GPRS. HSCSD can speed
the connection up to 57,6 kilobits/s. GPRS will make WAP an "always-on"
service, allowing you to access WAP services anytime, meaning that the
phone doesn't have to place a separate data call for each session.
To reduce frustration, remember
that you can preview the WAP site at Mobone.com using Mobone's own WAP
browser. This allows you to check out WAP services on your desktop, and
avoid unnecessary surfing time on the mobile device.
You can also try out other
WAP gateways to speed up your WAP sessions - some gateways are faster than
others and/or compress the pages better.
Is WAP expensive to use?
Normally, a WAP data call
costs just as much as any other data phone call through your GSM operator.
Thus, the amount of charges depend on how much you use WAP.
Currently WAP usage may be
relatively expensive. Rates depend on your service provider, but the data
calls run from approx. 0,15 EUR per minute.
With most operators, WAP
usage is metered per minutes spent online. Many operators are starting
to introduce transaction-based payments, meaning that you'll pay for the
content you use.
Most of the WAP services
are made fast to use and contain only the necessary information, as a result
the surfing takes less time.
How long is WAP going
to be in use?
Currently, most of the new
mobile phone models developers introduce are WAP enabled and it is expected
that by the end of the year nearly all new handsets sold will be WAP enabled.
Furthermore, PC web browsers will soon be equipped with a built-in ability
to view WAP sites.
Even if mobile phone data
speeds will gradually get faster, enabling more sophisticated wireless
solutions - especially mobile multimedia services - the progess is still
quite slow. We still have to wait a while to receive streaming media over
a mobile connection. So, even if no one can predict the future, it seems
that WAP is going be around for at least three or four years, if not for
decades. WAP is being developed just like HTML and supported by various
Can I use whatever WAP
service I like?
The short answer: depends
on your operator. If your operator has decided to offer you a limited selection
of WAP services, you need to modify your phone's settings to access all
The long answer needs some
explanation of how WAP works. To transmit WAP pages to your phone, WAP
devices communicate with a WAP gateway. WAP gateways are servers that fetch
WAP pages from another server and deliver them to your screen. Every telecom
operator has its own WAP gateway and many content providers also offer
A WAP gateway can be "open"
or "closed". Some gateways are closed, meaning that your service provider
allows you access to only certain WAP services. In contrast, open gateways
have no restrictions as to what WAP services you can use, and allow you
to surf to any WAP site.
The battle of whether WAP
is going to be open or closed is an ongoing one, and it's been fought between
the different parties that wish to benefit from WAP services.
How can I use whatever
WAP services I want?
As some of the mobile phone
companies will only let you visit sites that they approve of, you may need
to use independent gateways (see the list below) to surf any WAP site you
like. You will need to set up your phone to use this new WAP gateway. There
is absolutely no risk in doing this; you can change the settings back whenever
As not every WAP gateway
is available everywhere in the world, you might have to do some testing
before finding a suitable WAP gateway. You must also remember that some
of the independent gateways are only available to registered users. In
some cases open gateways may not be as reliable either as the ones provided
by big companies.
How about WAP and security?
In general, WAP is as secure
as the mobile phone standard that your phone works on (usually GSM, CDMA
or TDMA). Basically, it is very secure. As for m-commerce, however, you
may need to be a bit more cautious.
The signal from your phone
to the WAP gateway and then from the gateway on is totally secure - it
can be authenticated and encrypted with a specification called WTLS. Nevertheless,
there is a moment at the WAP gateway, a fraction of a second, when the
information is not encrypted and in theory, the owners of the WAP gateway
could print off your information. Opinions on whether users should therefore
refrain from giving credit card details over a WAP phone differ. No wonder,
end-to-end security is one of the key interest areas for WAP developers
Can I use WAP services
when I'm abroad?
When you are abroad, you
can access WAP services on your WAP device the same way you would do in
your home country. The only prerequisites are that you must enter the phone
number that is used to make the data connection in international form and
that data calls must be enabled from the country you're in to the country
where your service provider is located.
How does a WAP phone connect
to a WAP site?
To surf WAP sites, each WAP
device connects to a WAP gateway, an Internet server that acts as a translator
and compresser between the phone and the Internet. When you want to visit
a WAP site, your handset sends a request to the gateway, which then sends
a request to the WAP site. When the gateway has received a copy of the
page you want to view, it compresses it and sends it back to your phone.
Finally, the phone renders the contents for the user.
How quickly this happens
depends on how busy the site is and how congested the Internet is. The
gateways also vary in how efficiently they compress pages and how fast
their connections to the Internet are. You may be able to view a WAP page
on one gateway or device while failing on another.
Can I view pictures on
Yes, you can, but as of yet,
they are rarely of very good quality. As mostly black and white is supported,
most pics tend to be grainy. Some new phones like the Ericsson T68 now
come in full colour and better picture quality. The main reason for the
current state of things is the slow data speed - as WAP phones are much
slower at downloading than PC's, WAP pages are kept simple so that the
downloading won't take ages.
Can I choose my WAP opening
Yes, most WAP phones allow
to change the starting page freely. Remember that the gateway must allow
access to the page.