US-based research and consulting company Ovum has warned channel companies wanting to play in the WAP space that the window of opportunity to get onboard is limited in both size and duration.
As resellers struggle to reinvent themselves into more profitable, services-centric business models, Ovum is highlighting the dangers of investing too much in a technology yet to be proven.
Ovum's recently released WAP report concluded that users are now more familiar with the concept of WAP-enabled mobile phones, although it also pointed out that "WAP isn't the only technology available".
"WAP was never meant as the be-all and end-all of mobile Internet," Michele Mackenzie, the report's chief author said. "When mobile network improvements allow, more sophisticated technologies will take centre stage. But before that happens, players will have to work extra hard to get user buy-in and overcome any backlash."WAP development is being stymied by what Ovum describes as "the collision of the mobile world and the Internet world". As a result, WAP technologies run the risk of being left in the wake of next generation XML technologies, which are viewed as potentially viable alternatives.
Ovum surmised that if you are going to get into WAP, do it now before the bandwagon moves on.
"Operators and content providers can't afford to wait for better technology - they can act now by moving beyond the hype and playing to the strengths of WAP," Mackenzie said. "They must become wireless data champions."