The WAP Forum was founded in 1997 on the initiative of Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola and Phone.com to develop a uniform and open standard for the transmission of wireless information and telephone services to mobile devices. The goal was to by pass transmission bottlenecks through a simplified transmission language. The content is represented in WML (Wireless Markup Language) for which a WAP capable micro browser is needed. Cut down Internet sites thus can be displayed on WAP browsers on mobile phones, organizers, palmtops or pagers with a standard speed of 9.6 kbit/s.
However the appropriate devices were launched late only in the year 2000. The initial over hype and the technical problems brought the mobile network operators only 1 2% of their total turnover. The reasons for the slow penetration were: expensive per minute charge, insufficiently developed technologies and standards (long connection establishment times, frequent connection breakdowns, slow speed), limited offers and services, as well as bad business models of mobile service providers (Zobel, 2001). According to the research of Marcussen (2001) the most relevant WAP Applications for tourism and hospitality are: providing information on flight delays, the traffic situation, weather and road conditions, flight schedules and restaurant information. Accordingly, tourists seem to be interested mostly in location based services and schedule information. There is an opportunity therefore for hospitality organizations to benefit.
Zobel, Jo¨rg (2001). Mobile business und M-commerce. Die Ma¨rkte der Zukunft erobern. Munic, Vienna: Hansen.