International new and information group Reuters has launched Wireless Information Service (WIS), a version of its information service that it says will deliver personalised news and information to customers with wireless links, including mobile phone users. However, the phones necessary to receive the service are not expected to be commercially available until later this year.
In conjunction with Unwired Planet, a supplier of products adhering to a wireless protocol, WAP, Reuters has developed the service to give users of mobile phones access to world and financial news, stock quotes and invoices. Users will be able to choose the information they want from Reuters Internet pages, and what time of day they want to receive it. WIS will then deliver the news from Reuters and third-party sources via mobile network operators. The phones need to be enabled for wireless markup language (WML).
While Nokia and Ericsson have both announced that they are developing WAP- and WML-enabled products, there are only a small number of customers using them on a trial basis internationally.
Vodafone is currently running a commercial trial of a GSM mobile phone news service called upd@te in conjunction with the National Business Review. This is similar to the Reuters service, in that it allows customers to choose the information they are interested in and when they receive it, but is available on current GSM digital phones.