WAP application

WAP - Wireless application protocol has always been the controversial one. It is supposed to allow people to browse web sites hosted on the Internet. WAP pages are basically hosted as Web pages in the Internet. Thus, you would need to have Internet connection to your handphone first.

During the dot-com days, it was ignored because not many handphones actually supported WAP-browser. I remember the first one to support it was Nokia (the one with the roller and usually green colour).

Just as phone manufacturers set the path right for WAP, it was again sidelined by SMS. Those were during year 2002-2003, when everybody was pretty much crazy about SMS. Companies began developing SMS server for gaming and you have people trying to do everything using SMS which includes divorce.

Now, with 3G being the hot issue currently, WAP is slowly planning its revenge again and it might succeed this time.

Although many mobile phone users are still pretty much 2.5 G(GPRS) enabled, most phones are already WAP enabled. It is still quite expensive to surf a WAP page using your handphone if you are using normal prepaid services from the Telco, but there is no reason for companies not to start building up its WAP site. (Means web site with WAP interface as well)

We assume that many companies and retailers already have a basic web site. And for them to expose a WAP interface is not really that hard, because what simply needed is merely conversion of HTML codes to WML codes; which can be done in line per line basis.

Benefits of having WAP interface:
1. Mobile advertisement. You can now use your web site as advertisement instead. This is good for those who cannot afford television's commercial or billboard. Engage with some SEO people to help you with improving your site searchability. We are also expecting some WAP-page aggregators and portals to appear by then.
2. Mobile ECommerce. This will be a direct competition to Mobile Money suggested by Redtone. Because Mobile Money basically will tie up with the banks for transaction purposes; means anything will be deducted from your account with reference to a bank. For mobile ECommerce via WAP, you are basically purchasing from a retailer through its web site's payment gateway.
Why would one do that ?
--> 2a. Probably that would be cheaper than walk-in.
-->2b. Probably you don't want to queue up.
-->2c. Probably you hate the sales girl.
-->2e. You have reason for privacy.
3. Business efficiency. Customer can actually use the WAP interface for merchandize reservations which would cater for "drive-through" point-of-sales. This is bad for social science but good for computer science.
4. Many more.

Recently I found this company MPages.com.my; developer of the mobile equivalent of yellow pages. They will charge companies looking to register with them for a yearly fee and end-users will get to browse the listing free of charge. (You only need to bear the cost of Internet acccess via your handphone)

Their idea is much trickier, where by subscribing to their listing service, subscriber don't really need to have a WAP page. What you could provide is basic information like company names, address, phone and etc. Depending on the subscription fee, this is even a greater cost-saving for those interested to have mobile existence in the electronic medium.

1. what is left more for web page developer ?
2. How can web pages being leveraged for advertisement?
3. would eCommerce take off after 3G?
4. It is feasible for the idea of "one business one web site" ?
5. More revenues for web site development ?