WAP will be led by business, not consumer market

As a debate develops about the long-term viability of WAP, one New Zealand company already using a WAP application agrees that future development will be led by the business end of the market rather than the consumer.

As a debate develops about the long-term viability of WAP, one New Zealand company already using a WAP application agrees that future development will be led by the business end of the market rather than the consumer.

In last week’s Computerworld, Australian telecommunications analyst Paul Budde said enthusiasm for widespread consumer use of wireless application protocol technology was misguided.

“In that respect he’s exactly right,” says shipping company Mainfreight’s IT manager, Garry Collings. Budde believes the business market will be a big user of WAP.

Mainfreight has a WAP application that allows customers to track freight movements via cellphone.

“Although the ironic thing is that I really can’t see too many customers using it.” Collings says Mainfreight simply wanted to see if the technology was viable and he is very happy with the results.

“Wireless is going to be big for us in the transport industry — freight tracking on the cellphone is just the beginning.” Collings says the application works “and it works very well” despite having limited bandwidth. So-called third generation cellular technology will allow much faster connectivity.

“I’m impressed with what it does at 9600bit/s, so imagine what it will do at 2Mbit/s.”

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