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(Nikkei BP Group)

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

  • Tokyo Digital Phone to Participate in WAP Forum
  • January 29, 1999 (TOKYO) — Tokyo Digital Phone Co., Ltd., a mobile phone service operator in the J-Phone Group, said that it decided to participate in the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum.
    The mobile phone service company operates businesses in and around Tokyo.

    It will be Japan’s fifth participant in the forum, following DDI Corp., IDO Corp., NTT Mobile Communications Network Inc. (NTT DoCoMo) and TU-KA Cellular Tokyo.

    “Tokyo Digital Phone decided to participate in the forum to be able to start providing text-based information services via mobile phones when WAP becomes the de facto standard in the industry,” a company official said.

    The WAP is a standard that enables transmission of various types of text-based information and email by accessing IP networks such as the Internet and intranets from mobile telephones.

    In Japan, services using the WAP will be launched in April 1999 by the DDI Cellular Group and IDO.

    The NTT DoCoMo Group intends to start providing similar services by this summer. TU-KA Cellular Tokyo has been making preparations with a view toward launching the services this autumn.

    The J-Phone group does not intend to start the WAP services immediately, and it hasn’t decided when it will launch such services. This is because the group is already providing similar services. It has been providing the SkyWeb text-based information service for mobile phones since the end of 1998 as well as SkyWalker services for email for about a year.

    When the WAP becomes widely accepted, an increasing number of information providers are likely to create content compliant with the protocol.

    Thus the J-Phone group decided to prepare to provide the WAP services as well.

    As concerns text-based information and email services available using mobile phones, the “i Mode” service that NTT DoCoMo will introduce at the end of February is attracting attention. It will offer 30 to 40 types of content including banking services and ticket reservations.

    However, the “i Mode” service is not compliant with the WAP standard. Information providers will need to decide whether to create the content based on the “i Mode” or WAP description languages.

    Related stories:
    DDI to Launch Data Service for Mobile Telephone Users
    TU-KA Group Employs WAP Protocol for Mobile Phone Service
    NTT DoCoMo to Launch Text Services for Mobile Phones

    (Nikkei Communications)

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