Industry partnerships: key to regional WAP take up

Published October 17th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The take-up rate of WAP services throughout the Middle East is expected to be gradual, according to Jac Currie, managing director at Brightpoint, a regional wireless outsourcing, provision and logistics company.  


Currie further estimated that regional take-up would gather momentum with the introduction of high speed General Packet Radio Services (GPRS). However industry partnerships will be the key to steering WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) successfully onto the Middle East market. 


Talking at the Interactive Internet conference in Dubai last week Currie said “There has been a lot of hype about WAP but the fact is that currently there are only one million WAP users in Europe, which translates into less than one percent of the continent’s mobile phone user base. It is a fact that traditionally, the take-up of technology is swifter in Europe than the Middle East, so the conclusion is obvious.” 


“The good news is that industry analysts predict that between 2004-2005, the European WAP equation will have risen to 33 percent of mobile users, and this pattern could be mimicked in the Middle East if the industry works together to provide the necessary packages and consumer education.” 


“Industry partnerships will be needed to provide the necessary logistics, access, the right cost and the correct enabling,” said Currie. “It is much more difficult to become WAP enabled than logging onto the internet via a P.C., because every phone type has a different configuration.” 


Brightpoint Middle East FZE is a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Brightpoint Inc, a provider of outsourced services in the global wireless telecommunications and data industry. — (Albawaba-MEBG)

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