CADD Emirates brings WAP mail to Middle East

WAP's promise to keep you in touch with the office is touted as the most important application for the technology. Now that service is being offered from a newcomer to the Middle East market.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  March 27, 2001

Mobile workers in the Middle East can now keep up to date with their email and appointments via WAP phones.

A newcomer to the Middle East, LPG Innovations, is targeting the region with its WAPoffice suite, which delivers a WAP front end to corporate data stored on mail servers, intranet servers and databases.

LPG’s WAPoffice is a Java-based, multi-platform application that can sit on most servers. It acts as an interface between a WAP gateway and a client’s IMAP/POP3 mail servers, allowing a real time connection to office packages such as MS Exchange or Lotus Domino.

Any mobile user with a WAP-enabled phone or PDA can dial into their office’s server and handle all of their office functions without any additional integration or complicated synchronisation between devices.

“It is exactly as if you are sitting at your desk,” said VR Prakash, technology officer for CADD Emirates, which is currently pilot-testing WAPoffice before moving into full-scale distribution of the system to customers.

“It’s just like normal email – you can send, receive email, check and make appointments, and there is nothing on the mobile, everything is on the server – the device acts like a thin client.”

Various email functions can be set up to allow users to send mail to pre-set lists of recipients and to browse mail headers to save accessing unwanted mail. An additional SMS service can notify users that they have new mail. CADD Emirates is also offering LPG’s ServicePortal, an infrastructure platform that allows ISPs to deliver WAP services.

Although WAP has been dismissed as a failure by many in Europe, the penetration of mobile phone handsets in the Middle East means that many companies still see potential for WAP services, particularly in the corporate sector.

With WAPoffice, CADD Emirates hopes to be able to convince the corporate sector of the benefits of WAP. “Our main interest is to take the product to the Fortune 3000 companies here in the UAE,” said Sathya Moorthy, director of CADD Emirates. “Mainly we are addressing the oil & gas and banking sector – there is the requirement there, as well as the money available.”

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