Anti- Anti-WAP

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From: Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Date: Wed Sep 20 2000 - 12:07:04 PDT

See, you can do useful stuff with it....
The Psion Revo and the Nokia 7110 talking
over the IR port is cool stuff.


SURVEY - FT TELECOMMS: More business applications needed:
Improved software will expand the range of professional
applications, something that could convert Wap from mere
consumer gizmo to essential corporate technology
Financial Times, Sep 20, 2000, 769 words

Is Wap just the latest gizmo or something genuinely useful?
MagiWap software, which lets business travellers call up
files left in the office, is one example of a new breed of
Wireless application protocol (Wap) services designed to
solve real-life problems.

"Lots of solutions are also being developed to connect
mobile workers with information on the corporate intranet -
an in-house version of the internet," according to Margaret
Rice-Jones, managing director of Psion Computer.
Even that age-old problem of how to send and receive e-mails
on the move without carrying a back-breaking laptop, is
starting to be solved.

But for the busy businessperson separated from their files,
MagiWap can solve an all-too common problem. If you are
about to start work on a report but the file you need is on
your office PC or you are in the office and it is sitting on
your laptop at home, software from UK-based Tadpole
Technology can help.

It effectively turns your Wap mobile into a remote control
device, that switches files from one computer to another.
For example, you could switch a file from your office
machine to the laptop in your hotel. Or, if you did not have
the laptop with you, you could just send the file to the
hotel fax.

To use the system, your Wap mobile needs to be loaded with
MagiWap software which can be downloaded free from the net
by using the Wap browser in the phone to connect to

The system works by making all the computer-based devices
you use behave like secure computer servers on the internet.
So the mobile is effectively transferring files at the
user's request between one internet site and another.
MagiWap software will also need to be downloaded on to the
various computer devices to make them resemble servers on
the internet. This is also available free from the website ,
but Tadpole will be selling related workflow software to
companies which want to include mobile workers in their work

For example, your boss could, in theory, sign-off your
expenses from a mobile while playing golf with a supplier.
The software, developed by California-based Endeavors
Technology, acquired by Tadpole in March, grew out of
research carried out at the University of California into
the worldwide web and its use across mobile workforces and
multiple organisations.

Bernard Hulme, group chief executive at Tadpole, says:
"Instead of just using Wap phones to read public broadcast
information, such as stock prices, weather, business news
and sports scores, our software allows phone users to obtain
'private broadcast information' - business plans, price
lists, research documents - as well as those of colleagues
within a trusted workgroup. The mobile user can read, edit,
e-mail, fax or print documents, such as Microsoft Office
2000 documents, from a Wap mobile."

It is also possible to retrieve files through a computer
firewall, software many corporate networks have in place to
prevent hackers getting in. The only drawback of the system
is that the computer devices you want to retrieve files from
have to be left switched on and connected to a modem or

Mr Hulme says: "So far, the computer industry has not really
succeeded in developing software that brings mobile workers
into company processes."

One company that is trying to is personal organiser company,
Psion. The new Revo makes it much easier to connect to the
internet and use e-mail than its previous organiser. So long
as you have an infrared mobile, the Nokia 7110 Wap phone for
example, you simply line up the phone with the Revo's
infrared port, click on a few commands on the organiser, and
hey presto (plus the usual Wap wait), you are connected to
Psion's Wap site.

It is also easy, using the Revo's Opera browser to connect
to non-Psion Wap sites such as and,
because an e-mail ID is built into the Psion, you can send
and receive messages.

It is a shame, however, that a mobile phone is not built
into the new Revo as lining up devices while on the move
could be tedious. However, Ms Rice-Jones says: "We really
think General Packet Radio Service (a higher-speed mobile
data technology) will have a significant impact on mobile
data and we're waiting for that to be widely available
before launching an integrated device."

Yet even with the limitations of today's technology, it is
possible to see how a portable device such as this could
help companies come up with solutions to real-life problems.
For example, field engineers could connect to the company
intranet via Wap to get information on how to fix an obscure

In Finland, service personnel working on site for Helsinki
Energy will have access to a vast company database using
Nokia Wap services over a Tetra mobile radio network. The
services have been developed in conjunction with Helsinki
Energy and another Finnish company, Tekla Corporation, a
software business.

Kari Suneli, senior vice president, professional mobile
radio at Nokia Networks, believes Wap over Tetra technology,
which reduces Wap waiting time, will help open up the market
for professional Wap services.

With better software becoming available and the sheer
portability of Wap devices, Wap could be moving closer to
becoming genuinely useful.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited

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