Cable & Wireless Optus today announced that they will be first to market with a wireless application protocol (WAP) service.
The service called NETworker will be available to Optus' retail GSM mobile customers as of 30 November 1999.
NETworker effectively creates a 'mobile adapted Internet' with a range of information menus including share prices, breaking news, sports news, horoscopes and weather. NETworker will also provide mobile access to most Internet email accounts.
According to Cable & Wireless Optus, Managing Director Mobile, Paul O'Sullivan, NETworker converts the mobile phone into a mobile Internet machine for people who are on the move and want to stay in touch.
"With a WAP enabled mobile phone you will be able to check the latest sports results, see if your stars are favourable, decide what movie session you want attend and read email - all from your car, a cafe, or your beach towel," said Mr O'Sullivan.
"Services will be developed so that your mobile will know where you are. This will give you easy access to such things as listings of local restaurants, bank teller machines, hotels, even train timetables.
"Our launch position for the WAP service will be increased over time as more content and applications are developed for the protocol. For example we will offer movie session times and airline flight information early next year. Soon after we will move from information based content to transactional services such as ticketing, so you will be able to reserve a seat at the cinema or book a flight to the destination of your choice - all from your mobile," he said.
"People are hungry for customised information. With WAP enabled phones we can deliver to this expectation. The combination of the portability of a mobile phone with ready access to Internet based information will prove irresistible," Mr O'Sullivan said.
The growth of mobile Internet access is expected to exceed even the growth of traditional Internet. By 2003 it is predicted that there will be 600 million PC's worldwide and 2 billion mobile phone users.
NETworker will be priced on an access per minute basis with no monthly access fees. Optus World will retail the Nokia 7110 at $865 per handset, or at $249 on an Optus 'yes' Plus 55 plan. The Nokia 7110 handsets are due to be available in late November 1999. Customers may pre-register for handsets and NETworker' at any Optus World or Optus dealer from 22 November 1999.
For more information:
Cable & Wireless Optus
Phone: 02 9342 7850