Chinese Carrier Plans Six-City WAP Trial

HONG KONG (03/29/2000) - China Mobile Communications Corp. (CMCC) is kicking off trials of a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) service in six mainland cities, according to a report today on the Web site of the official People's Daily newspaper.

The services will allow users of WAP-enabled mobile phones to access Web sites, send and receive e-mail, and engage in e-commerce while on the move, CMCC affiliate Beijing Mobile Communications Co. said, according to the report.

CMCC will offer the services in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. They will be free until the end of May, when the trial will conclude, according to the report.

CMCC serves approximately 1.7 million Mainland customers on its Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) network.

Some industry observers believe mobile phones will be a major Internet access tool in China, where Internet use is still limited and most potential users do not yet own PCs.

A number of other mobile telecommunications vendors already are testing and rolling out WAP services in China. Ericsson (China) Co. Ltd. officials last week said the company will provide a platform for WAP services to China United Communications Co. (China Unicom) and CMCC for services to be offered in a number of areas. Among the service providers for those services will be popular Chinese Internet portal Sina.com. [See "Sina.com Readies WAP Offerings for China," March 24.] Nokia and Motorola also have tested the mobile data technology in China.

China Mobile Communications Corp., in Beijing, can be found on the Web at http://www.chinamobile.com.cn./

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