By Barnaby Chesterman
Emirates' mobile phone users can finally look forward to a WAP service from the country's telecoms monopoly to be launched at the beginning of next year
Etisalat finally gave UAE mobile phone users a peak into a WAP-enabled future during the Gitex show in Dubai in October.
The telephone monopoly demonstrated its Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) service to visitors at Gitex as part of its pre-launch stage. The Emirates’ WAP service won’t actually be commercially available for mobile phone subscribers with data access until the beginning of next year but Etisalat claim it will support Arabic and English content.
Mohammed Ahmed Al Fahim, executive vice president of marketing, said that the potential had been laid for Etisalat’s 950,00 mobile phone subscriber base to have access to a variety of information, applications and services by using WAP. “WAP is the gateway to a new world of interactive information services and applications, allowing people on the move to be up-to-date with the latest information.”
Ahmed Ali Al Hosani, product development manager for voice and wireless was also keen to stress the importance of future WAP applications to the market. “As WAP technology develops and interactive content on the World Wide Web increasingly becomes WAP enabled, the mobile phone is expected to develop into a multi-functional information and transaction center,” he said. “Soon voice calls will only constitute a small fraction of the several applications available on the mobile handset.”