Nokia Scores WAP Deal in China

In a move that helps strengthen its position in the booming Asian mobile communications market, Nokia has signed a contract to offer a commercial package of WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) services with a Chinese company.

Nokia, which is one the biggest GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications) suppliers in China, would not disclose the value of the contract they signed with Jilin Mobile Communications. Under the contract, Nokia will be delivering the Nokia Artus Messaging Platform, including both WAP Gateway and Messaging Modules, according to a statement from the company.

According to analysts, China and Asia are markets with enormous growth potential for WAP.

"At the end of 1998 there were about 65 million subscribers (in Asia), including 20 (million) in China," said Ian Gillott, vice president of Worldwide Consumer and Small Business Telecommunications at IDC, a market research company based in Framingham, Massachusetts. "By the end of 2004, it is projected to reach 533 million, not including Japan."

The announcement of the deal with Jilin does not come as a surprise, Gillott said.

"Nokia is a huge wireless player. It isn't a big move for them," Gillott said.

Nokia's package is a complete end-to-end solution that includes WAP gateways, portal, mobile terminals and browsers.

For Jilin, which has 1 million subscribers, it means being able to offer value-added messaging and mobile internet services to their GSM subscribers, even those whose phones can receive short messages according to a statement from Nokia.

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