what is wap

WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)

WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is a specification for a set of communication protocols to standardize the way that wireless devices, such as cellular telephones and radio transceivers, can be used for Internet access, including e-mail, the World Wide Web, newsgroups, and instant messaging. While Internet access has been possible in the past, different manufacturers have used different technologies. In the future, devices and service systems that use WAP will be able to interoperate.
The WAP layers are:
  • Wireless Application Environment (WAE)
  • Wireless Session Layer (WSL)
  • Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS)
  • Wireless Transport Layer (WTP)
The WAP was conceived by four companies: Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, and Unwired Planet (now Phone.com). The Wireless Markup Language (WML) is used to create pages that can be delivered using WAP.
There are other approaches to an industry standard besides WAP, including i-Mode.
 
 
Here comes WAP!
The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is the de-facto world standard for the presentation and delivery of wireless information and telephony services on mobile phones and other wireless terminals. The WAP Forum has published a global wireless protocol specification, based on existing Internet standards such as XML and IP, for all wireless networks. The WAP specification is developed and supported by the wireless telecommunication community so that the entire industry and most importantly, its subscribers, can benefit from a single, open specification. WAP is designed to work with most wireless networks such as CDPD, CDMA, GSM, PDC, PHS, TDMA, FLEX, ReFLEX, iDEN, TETRA, DECT, DataTAC, Mobitex. Actually Phone.com, Ericsson, Nokia and many others began developing standards independently of each other, but it was soon realized that it would make more sense to focus development around a common standard. WAP forum was thus born with a desire to establish a common format for Internet transfers to mobile telephones, without having to customize the Internet pages for the particular display on every different mobile telephone or personal organizer.
The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) addresses the issues mentioned above by introducing the concept of the Internet as a wireless service platform. By addressing the constraints of a wireless environment, and adapt existing Internet technology to meet these constraints, the WAP Forum has succeeded in developing a standard that scales across a wide range of wireless devices and networks. The WAP specifications complement existing wireless standards. For example, the WAP specification does not specify how data should be transmitted over the air interface. Instead, the WAP specification is intended to sit on top of existing bearer channel standards so that any bearer standard can be used with the WAP protocols to implement complete product solutions. It defines a protocol stack that can operate on high latency, low bandwidth networks such as Short Message Service (SMS), or GSM Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channel. In addition to being air interface independent, the WAP specification is also independent of any particular device. Instead, it specifies the bare minimum functionality a device must have, and has been designed to accommodate any functionality above that minimum.
The WAP specification uses the best of existing standards, and has developed new extensions where needed. For example, a WAP Gateway communicates with other Internet nodes using the standard HTTP 1.1 protocol and the wireless handsets use the standard URL addressing scheme to request services. The WAP forum is also working with many other standards organizations to develop or modify standards related to new technologies, which need modifications for wireless environment. The WAP forum has liaison relationships (or is in the process of having) with Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This ensures that when new standards emerge, these standards remain compatible with the work of the WAP Forum. For example, the WAP Forum will be working with the W3C and IETF to ensure future convergence with HTML-NG (Next Generation) and HTTP-NG specifications, and to provide input to these groups regarding the requirements of future wireless network technologies.
The Wireless Application Protocol is a standard developed by the WAP Forum, a group founded by Nokia, Ericsson, Phone.com (formerly Unwired Planet), and Motorola. The WAP Forum has now expanded to include more than 200 members, including operators, infrastructure suppliers, software developers and content providers.
WAP Specifications
Go to WAPFORUM for specifications and additional documents on WAP