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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • TU-KA Group Employs WAP Protocol for Mobile Phone Service
  • January 18, 1999 (TOKYO) — Three group companies of mobile communications operator TU-KA Group said they will offer mobile phone service using the wireless application protocol (WAP).
    This follows similar moves by NTT Mobile Communications Network, Inc., (NTT DoCoMo), IDO Corp. and Cellular Phone Group.

    The service will start in autumn 1999. The three TU-KA companies are TU-KA Cellular Tokyo, TU-KA Cellular Tokai and TU-KA Phone Kansai Inc.

    Since the end of October 1998, TU-KA Group has been offering a “SkyMessage” service that enables users to send and receive character-based messages of Internet mail with a mobile phone. The company has also been studying providing a character-based information service using SkyMessage.

    In Japan, the WAP protocol is likely to become more popular for character-based information services. IDO and Cellular Phone Group will start their WAP service in April 1999 and NTT DoCoMo, the largest mobile phone service operator, will begin a similar service in spring or summer.

    Under such market conditions, TU-KA Group decided to offer WAP service together with the current SkyMessage service. Contents of the WAP service are under study.

    TU-KA Cellular Tokyo plans to join the WAP Forum, a WAP standardization body. The three group companies will develop system and service applications together.

    WAP is a light protocol designed for mobile phone/personal handyphone systems (PHSs) that have a limited display area and communication speed. With a WAP-compliant phone, it will be possible to browse Web pages or use Internet mail via a dedicated server. Applications can include information distribution such as news or weather forecasts and transaction services such as ticket reservations.

    (Nikkei Communications)

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