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CeBIT 2000: Motorola battles with Nokia in WAP war

Motorola sets the scene for WAP partnerships and announces three content deals

Stealing some of the limelight from Finnish giant Nokia, Motorola on Thursday announced an aggressive entry into the WAP market with an extensive product offering supported by a keenly targeted content partnership.

Six Motorola WAP handsets were announced at the CeBIT show in Hannover, as well as the world's first triple-band GPRS WAP handset. The phones are divided into three brands: Talkabout for "parents and children"; V for "the young and hip"; and Timeport for the "busy executive".

"We are aggressively meeting consumers' demand for WAP products," says Motorola senior vice president, Rik Darnaby. "As well as providing tailored Web content for each of our three brands, content is king and it will drive demand."

Behind the marketing spiel, Motorola has signed deals with 19 partners, including Amazon and entertainment site Digital Bridges. The company is aiming for a further 500 partnerships "in the next few months".

Motorola also announced it would not be developing product for HSCSD networks, a circuit-switched 28.8kB/sec network that Orange has upgraded to as a bridge from GSM to 3G. Ed Green, executive president of Broadband, dismissed it as not going in the right direction of providing true wireless Internet. "HSCSD isn't bringing data to wireless, it's just building on old technology," he says.

For full coverage, see ZDNet UK's CeBIT 2000 special.

See also, CeBIT 2000: A summary.