A Year Ago: Interactive shopping for WAP phones

Mon, 25 Oct 1999 16:22:24 GMTWorld's first interactive WAP phones allows simultaneous speech when ordering goods

New technology being developed will allow owners of WAP enabled mobile phones to browse a Web site while receiving simultaneous live call responses. RealCall, a developer of digital call back services, and developer of software for wireless Internet access Argo have entered into an alliance to produce the world's first interactive e-commerce solution for WAP phones.

Argo's ActiGate Web Content Converter re-purposes the content of Internet sites, from HTML to WML, for viewing on a WAP enabled mobile. The alliance with RealCall extends the functionality of these WAP services, by allowing users to receive voice calls from advertisers.

Katrina Bond, analyst at telecoms consultancy Analysys, believes that this is exciting news for consumers.

"This will provide an extra level of convenience, an extra channel," she said, "This will prevent customer frustration when the text information provided on the phone is limited. There is always someone who wants something a little unusual, this lets them talk to a human being."

Trials of the new service with two mobile phone network operators, as yet unnamed, are set to begin shortly. This will allow consumers to check details and prices of products with a human operator when ordering goods via a WAP service.

The first WAP phone to be launched in the UK next month will be Nokia's 7110.

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