Research shows disparaging WAP results among corporate users

According to research results a staggering 90% of corporate American and 65-75% of European and Asian consumers that had purchased WAP enabled mobile phones use them only for voice and not for data communication.

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By  Rania Adwan Published  May 29, 2001

The META Group, a top IT research and consulting firm, found that consumers are still disillusioned when it comes to WAP enabled devices, with the level of energy and effort needed, far exceeding the perceived gains.

"Enterprise users of WAP-enabled cellular [mobile] phones in North America are abandoning the data and Internet-enabled connectivity of the phones," said Jack Gold, vice president of Web & Collaboration Strategies at META Group. "These phones are currently used by corporations mainly for the standard voice features."

The value services promoted by WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) technology have been flawed by its unreliability and difficulty to access quickly. The hype that has surrounded WAP ever since its introduction into the sphere of communication, has led to much speculation that the technology will not withstand the bad publicity it has continuously received. According to the survey conducted by the META Group the slow networks, high latency time and limited content have not met with consumer expectation.

It hasn’t helped that hardware ergonomics has lagged considerably in regards to uptake of the WAP system. "With new technologies on the horizon, we should see data access from mobile phones pick up again during the next two to three years – but only if the ergonomics are substantially improved," explains Gold.

He added, "we have a Catch-22 situation, because most cell [mobile] phone users want their devices to stay small – and are demanding the highest levels of portability. Yet the small size prohibits them from being ergonomically correct and data-intensive."

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