last month announced the availability of the Nokia WAP Browser 2.0, compliant with the WAP 1.2 specification. WAP is an open global standard for communication between a mobile handset and the Internet or other computer applications. The browser will be made available to mobile phone and other device manufacturers as source code, giving manufacturers significantly more control over software and development costs, according to the company. By providing WAP 1.2 source code, Nokia says, customers are given the essential WAP 1.2 baseline functionality and that enables them to add extensions or modifications as needed.
For example, a wireless carrier could create a distinct user interface for the browser and then make it available to all of its phone suppliers.
Additionally, handset or PDA manufacturers could add new features to their product such as synchronization or instant messaging, and they would be able to integrate those features securely with the core browser.
In a decision announced late last month, the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) set a range between $19 and $21.50 per end-user per month as the figure that ISPs must pay Canada’s largest cable operators to access their broadband network. The news pleased the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP), which said it “an important step to giving consumers choice in high speed service providers and in moving the Internet industry towards full competition.” Added Jay Thomson, president of CAIP: “As long as cable’s retail rates remain at current levels, these wholesale rates should provide ISPs enough room to build in their own costs and still offer a competitively-priced cable high speed service. There is still more work to be done, but we applaud the CRTC for establishing a pricing regime that presents a real business opportunity for both independent ISPs and cable companies, and consumers should be the biggest beneficiaries from the choices that will result.” Details of the CRTC’s decision can be found at www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/Orders/2000/O2000-788.htm.