Nokia launches mobile-Internet kit

Nokia releases development framework for WAP software, and starts shipping handsets.

A framework for wireless application protocol (WAP) developers was a step in the right direction, and now Nokia is actually ready to sell us WAPpy phones.

Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia says its first shipments of the 7110 Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) handset have left its factories. "We started deliveries to Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific region," Nokia Mobile Phone spokeswoman Marianne Holmlund told Reuters. She could give no volume implications but said production ramp-up would follow during October.

The price for the phone in Finland, which is a good benchmark of the product's value since Finnish operators do not subsidise handsets, was 3,250 markka (£350).

The launch ties in nicely with Nokia's so called "concept release" of its open services and application framework for mobile Internet at the current Telecom '99 show in Geneva.

Initially aimed at WAP compatible environments, Nokia says this framework will offer an interface for third-party developers of applications, such as messaging platforms. The phone giant said this new framework complemented the WAP-enabled Nokia Artus Messaging Platform for GSM and TDMA recently announced at PCS '99 in New Orleans.

"The purpose of this open application development framework concept is to open up the mobile Internet to existing Internet applications, moving us closer towards Nokia's vision of the Mobile Information Society," says Pekka Salonoja, VP of Nokia's wireless data server systems.

Reuters contributed to this report.