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Nokia gets into wireless entertainment.

Does this make sense?

Teemu


Friday October 8, 9:04 am Eastern Time

Company Press Release

Nokia Announces Piloting of Mobile Entertainment Services - M1
in Singapore First to Sign Pilot Agreement

HELSINKI, Finland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 8, 1999--The mobile life style and fragmented free time of consumers today will create an
exciting new business opportunity within the field of Mobile Entertainment services. Mobile Entertainment offers outstanding opportunities for
extra revenue generation for operators, with possibilities to increase traffic in network, reduce churn and attract new users.

The Mobile Entertainment services are based on the Mobile Entertainment solution, which will be introduced to cellular network operators at
Telecom '99. The Mobile Entertainment solution uses standard WAP 1.1. features in delivering attractive mobile entertainment. Game
applications are not contained within the mobile phone but run on a server and can be accessed using WAP enabled terminals, such as the
Nokia 7110.

The Mobile Entertainment solution delivers exciting interactive games, ranging from traditional board games to thrilling adventure games. It offers
the player the unique and fascinating feature of multi-player interactivity, where he can choose to compete with players he selects or to play with
anyone who is connected to the mobile entertainment services.

``Nokia is a key player in the mobile infrastructure and handset markets, where value-added data services are a fast growing and very exciting
area. WAP is the first technology to enable offering of mobile entertainment by providing transparency of services over different network
technologies and handsets. Our Mobile Entertainment solution is developed to connect game players on the move and to stimulate network
usage. ', Says vice president Pertti Lounamaa, Nokia Wireless Software Solutions.

The first piloting agreement has been signed with M1 in Singapore. The pilot service is expected to be available in Singapore by early next year.
``The area of mobile entertainment and games is largely unexplored and offers a huge potential for M1 to introduce services to complement the
lifestyles of the modern day consumers. We have a segment of young and trendy customers who are quick to adopt the latest technology, and
mobile games and entertainment appeal strongly to those who don't want to be restricted in where and when they can indulge. What's going to
be very interesting is that you can pit your wit and skills against your friends or if you like, complete strangers from around the world,' said M1's
CEO, Neil Montefiore.

At Telecom '99 the features of Mobile Entertainment are demonstrated with different types of game applications, that are supported with an
imaginary games site on the Internet. Introduction to playing mobile games as well as information, rules and other instructions about the games
are shown on the Internet site. For playing the games only a WAP enabled mobile terminal, like the Nokia 7110, is required.

About Nokia

Nokia is paving the way to the mobile information society with its innovative products and solutions. Nokia is the leading mobile phone supplier
and a leading supplier of mobile, fixed and IP networks including related services. It also supplies multimedia terminals and computer displays. In
1998, net sales totaled EUR 13.3 billion (USD 15.7 billion). Headquartered in Finland, Nokia is listed on the New York (NOK), Helsinki,
Stockholm, London, Frankfurt and Paris stock exchanges and employs more than 51 000 people.

Nokia Wireless Software Solutions, part of the Nokia Internet Communications unit, focuses on the development of WAP technology and
mobile solutions and applications for corporations and service providers, as well as mobile software platforms for software developers and
system integrators. Internet: www.nokia.com/corporate/wap and www.nokia.com/wap/entertainment

About WAP

The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is an open de-facto standard for Internet content and advanced telephony services in digital mobile
phones and other wireless terminals. The standard enables manufacturers, network operators, content providers and application developers to
offer compatible products and secure services on all digital devices and networks resulting in greater economies of scale and universal access to
information. The WAP Forum, which now has over 180 members, has published a global wireless protocol specification for all wireless
networks. The WAP-Forum is open to all participants.
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I submit it's a niche market action. Nokia is not only marketing the business/utilitarian cell phone user, but also the younger generation who do seem to have time on their hands and interest in games. Singapore has (I think) the highest per capita level of cell phone use in the world.
I think it's a good move in a significant test market. And I think it's just that - a test. Whether it is exportable or expandable ... only time will tell.

Cheers, Charles
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I may be wrong, but my understanding is that software developers are not exactly storming the barricades to write to the WAP spec. So Nokia is trying to seed the market by investing some of their own resources into creating software that will run on their platforms.

ERICY pursuing the same goal, although not necessarily the same strategy (see, for example, recent ERICY news release, "Ericsson makes WAP client widely available under favorable conditions" -- I'll post this release on this board).

So the platform vendors are putting their own money on the line, by investing in WAP-compliant software.
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GM1234 writes:
I may be wrong, but my understanding is that
software developers are not exactly storming
the barricades to write to the WAP spec. So
Nokia is trying to seed the market by investing
some of their own resources into creating software
that will run on their platforms.


In my case the problem is that there is no
cheap way to deliver the content, even after
writing the application. For potential users
of this technology in my domain (health care)
I would need to build an actual prototype
that works, i.e. not the NT WAP simulator.

For a typical web developer, all you need is
access to some form of broadband (ISDN, frame
relay, cable, or DSL) and a $1000 Linux box.
You can even rent access on some ISP's machine.
Within days, you can have a usable web presence
that people can access.

In contrast, only major players (my current
understanding) have access to a WAP gateway.
If this economic barrier isn't removed, I'll
just have to stick with more conventional
wireless access.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I'd
like to participate in WAP.

-Rubic
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Rubic writes:
In contrast, only major players (my current
understanding) have access to a WAP gateway.
If this economic barrier isn't removed, I'll
just have to stick with more conventional
wireless access.


Some middleware vendors are getting into this market, on the theory that they'll be able to develop a gateway which can mediate between the limited capabilities of a WAP-based browser, and the richer world found on the Internet.

Have you had any success with the developer relations programs of any of the middleware participants in the WAP Forum?

Geoff
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Hi GM1234. Thank you for your response.
My reply below is in no way meant to
be critical to your points, which I find
useful as a way of continuing to elaborate
my thoughts in this discussion.

[ Background: Rubic complains that it's
presently difficult for small developers
to supply wireless content via a WAP
gateway, and further maintains that this
is a potential problem with a rollout of
WAP-enabled applications.]

> Some middleware vendors are getting into this
> market, on the theory that they'll be able to
> develop a gateway which can mediate between
> the limited capabilities of a WAP-based browser,
> and the richer world found on the Internet.


First, for my particular domain, a viable
alternative to WAP is a PDA outfitted with
a cellular modem. This technology is available
today, and requires fairly minimal tweaking
on my end. Metricom offers another simple
alternative, but it isn't yet available in
most areas. I think WAP offers some potential
advantages, but it will have to remove what
I consider a fundamental barrier -- cheap
access to clients via a WAP gateway.

Second, I have no problems designing applications
that meet the criteria for a WAP-based browser.
I just don't like the idea of using WAP middleware
on technical or economic grounds.

> Have you had any success with the developer
> relations programs of any of the middleware
> participants in the WAP Forum?


My interests are not aligned with the interests
of the middleware vendors. I want a cheap wireless
conduit to deliver content. I'm willing to
consider modifying the delivery system to adopt
WAP conventions, in anticipation of large numbers
of WAP users. I'm probably not willing to
consider paying extra (in comparison to using
cellular modems, Metricom, etc.) to risk being an
early adopter with a (presently) limited market.

Most likely, WAP will be eventually used by the
cellular masses. Horizontal applications (email,
stock quotes, instant messages) will probably
pave the way for cheap content delivery by vertical
apps. When that day arrives, a wider array of WAP
services will soon follow.

Thoughts?

-Rubic
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Rubic,
I think WAP offers some potential
advantages, but it will have to remove what
I consider a fundamental barrier -- cheap
access to clients via a WAP gateway


I can see the problem that is holding you back -- have you tried working directly with the major vendors such as Nokia or Ericsson? I know that they have had programs in place for quite a while now to encourage developers of WAP-based applications. Somehow, they are providing the necessary support to these application developers, because there is a trickle (or maybe a "drip, drip, drip"?) of applications adapted for WAP coming out.

I just don't like the idea of using WAP middleware
on technical or economic grounds


Since you've had the opportunity to do more in-depth investigation, can you give some of the reasons behind your conclusion? I think it would be interesting for other people to see.

As for cellular data vs. WAP, I personally have a hard time seeing cellular data being much more than a toy, with limited market appeal. Consider, for example, the cost to the user, and the effective throughput that one can expect.

And I would agree that it will be a while before WAP has a significant following -- in the North American market. If you target the European market, I think the perils of being a pioneer are fewer. To return to the earlier point about developer support from the major vendors, there are already a number of WAP-based applications in the market in Europe. It should be possible to get information about their market acceptance, which should help significantly in reducing risk to you.
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<Nokia gets into wireless entertainment.

Does this make sense?

Teemu>

Dear Teemu,

Nokia will try over the next decade to get your Nokia phone to do everything that other devices you now use do. I wouldn't be surprised if you will not open your garage door with your Nokia within a few years. The possibilities are endless!!!! As for wireless entertainment, we are talking about millions of teenagers who love to play games. Nokia is bringing the arcade to them ,instead of them having to go to the arcade.

Nokia is the future for they are open to any idea that works. That is the key "Open Mindedness" + "Adaptability" + "Thinking in the Abstract" = Success

MYCROFT
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GM1234 asks:
> I can see the problem that is holding you
> back -- have you tried working directly with
> the major vendors such as Nokia or Ericsson?

At this stage I'm monitoring the developer
forums and contacting individual developers.

> Somehow, they are providing the necessary support
> to these application developers, because there is
> a trickle (or maybe a "drip, drip, drip"?) of
> applications adapted for WAP coming out.

It appears most of this action is in Europe.

>> I just don't like the idea of using WAP middleware
>> on technical or economic grounds

> Since you've had the opportunity to do more
> in-depth investigation, can you give some of
> the reasons behind your conclusion? I think
> it would be interesting for other people to see.

I'm still investigating, no final conclusions.

I don't like it [middleware] on technical grounds
because I would rather be dealing directly with
WAP, rather than add another 3-party layer, which
might increase complexity (under the guise of
reducing it) -- not an uncommon engineering
scenario.

On economic grounds, I would tend to avoid
WAP middleware, because it is in the vendor's
interest to create a "lock-in" solution.

I can understand why they would choose to do
so -- potentially they might charge based on a
usage fee structure. I trust my audience will
understand why we might decline to participate.
It's often best to avoid structuring business models
(if you're the customer) upon this kind of dependency.

Presently, the content that we deliver to our
clients is effectively at fixed cost, though not
available via wireless service. We could increase
the content by an order of magnitude, and it would
not materially affect our operating costs.

> As for cellular data vs. WAP, I personally
> have a hard time seeing cellular data being
> much more than a toy, with limited market
> appeal. Consider, for example, the cost
> to the user, and the effective throughput
> that one can expect.

This is one of those areas where my only
answer can be "it depends". It depends first
on how well (effortlessly) WAP can penetrate
the U.S. market, i.e. it can't be restricted
to high population density areas like Metricom.
For the type of vertical applications I deal
with, cellular data throughput would be
sufficient. For both cellular data and WAP
the goal of the service provider is to minimize
(where possible) the amount of wireless data.
While WAP offers some intriguing possibilities,
it doesn't permit us to neglect bandwidth
considerations.

> If you target the European market, I think the
> perils of being a pioneer are fewer.

Unfortunately, that is not an option for our
applications.

---

At this stage I'm watching WAP very closely. It
is not necessary (for our type of applications)
for us to be first to market with WAP-enabled
technology. We tend to be pretty aggressive,
so it's likely we might get there anyway.

WAP is a demonstratably workable technology.
Discounting cellular modems (and Metricom,
which doesn't yet operate in the same space)
I don't see any alternative offerings. But
this alone won't make WAP succeed in the U.S.
It will have to be nearly as ubiquitous as
cellular communications itself, not relegated
to "target markets". If it follows the latter
path, many developers (such as myself) will
choose another mechanism for deliverying the
packets.

Note to unborn generations reviewing this
post <wink>:


Our discussion relates to how WAP deployment
appears in October '99 to a U.S. citizen. The
technology is changing very rapidly, so it's likely
that either my or GM1234's comments will be subject
to considerable review and revision. Overall, I'm
happy about where WAP is going, I'm just impatient
that it's not here yet.


I want it all. Right now. ;-)

-Rubic

Disclaimer: I hope nobody takes my comments
above as the source of anything besides fodder for
further discussion. I'm posting here, in part, as
a sanity check to see if I still have my head screwed
on straight regarding these issues. If not, I may be
forced consider a career move into management. <wink>
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