Wireless Application Protocol - WAP
How does WAP
address limitations of wireless Internet?
is based on existing Internet standards. The WAP architecture was designed to
enable standard off-the-shelf Internet servers to provide services to wireless
devices. While communicating with wireless devices, WAP uses many Internet
standards such as XML, UDP, and IP. The WAP wireless protocols are based on
Internet standards such as HTTP and TLS, but have been optimized for the unique
constraints of the wireless environment.
The trouble with Internet standards such as HTML, HTTP, TLS, and TCP is that they require large amounts of mainly text based data to be sent which is a big problem in bandwidth constrained systems like mobile wireless systems. As an example HTTP sends its headers and commands in an inefficient text format instead of compressed binary. Another example is the TLS security standard that requires many messages to be exchanged between client and server. Also, standard HTML web content generally cannot be displayed in an effective way on the small size screens of pocket-sized mobile phones and pagers.. HTTP and TCP are not optimized for the usual problems associated with wireless networks like intermittent coverage, long latencies and limited bandwidth, which, with wireless transmission latencies, results in a very slow response for the user.
WAP uses binary transmission for greater compression of data and is hence optimized for long latency and low to medium bandwidth. WAP sessions cope with intermittent coverage and can operate over a wide variety of wireless transports using IP where possible and other optimized protocols where IP is impossible. The WML language used for WAP content makes optimum use of small screens and allows easy navigation with one hand. It also includes a built-in salability from two-line text displays to the full graphic screens on smart phones and communicators.
(Dedicated to providing comprehensive information to mobile computing community of IT professionals, user organizations, and vendors)