What is WAP?
August 10, 2005, 9:49pm PDT | Length: 00:02:51
Wireless Application Protocol allows you to access the internet from your cellular phone. Burton Katz of Buongiorno explains how it works and says that with faster cellular networks, better screens and more compelling content -- it's here to stay.
My name is Burton Katz, I'm the President of Buongiorno, USAoperations. Today I'm here to talk about what is WAP.
Well, what does WAP stand for? Wireless ApplicationProtocol. Essentially, what Wireless Application Protocol does is allow you toaccess as a user the fixed Internet on your cellular phone. So in practicalterms how does it work? Well first you have a user who has a cell phone. Thatuser makes a request to his Internet service provider. The Internet serviceprovider just happens to be someone different. He's called your Telco. Then theInternet service provider sends that request to what is called the WAP gateway,and then that WAP gateway sends on a request to what's commonly knowneverywhere in the Internet world as the web server to serve the information andsend it all the way back to the user.
The most important part of this entire process is all whathappens here at the WAP Gateway. Essentially, three primary activities happen.Number one, is we are able to detect the end user device that you're accessingthe Internet from. Remember there's thousands of devices out there in themarket with thousands of different types of screens on there, so I've got toget that presentation perfectly correct and here's where by detecting yourdevice I know exactly how to present that to your device. Number two, is Iactually then detect the capability of your devices as far as what type ofproduct that you can actually buy. Some phones maybe only able to accesspolyphonic ring tones. Some could actually access real tones. What happens atthe WAP Gateway allows me to recognize that and the third point is the MSISDN.In layman's terms, that means your phone number. Essentially by capturing thephone number, the telecom operator here is able to allow you to purchase aproduct with one click by and authenticate you just by knowing your phonenumber.
Why is all this important? Why is it only going to becomemore important? Because three major reasons, cellular networks are becomingfaster by the day. Number two, actually the screens of cell phones are becomingmore colorful, allowing you to do and access many more things. And number threeis, you have more compelling content out there. If you add all these threethings together, and the advance capabilities of actually being able to accessthe fixed Internet on your mobile phone, WAP is essentially not just a winner.It's here to stay.