Access the Internet, send e-mails, watch video, you can even make calls with the next generation of mobile phones
Mobile phones are evolving, becoming less phone-like and offering a host of other services and applications. Already they function as phone books and organisers, and now they are hooking up with e-mail and the Internet - and providing a host of new acronyms and terminology. WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is like a mini-World Wide Web for mobile phones. Content is rather sparse at present but offerings in the future will include information services, news, sports updates and even banking services and e-commerce. SMS (Short Message Service) is already widely available, allowing compatible phones to exchange text messages, and when used in conjunction with WAP it will be possible to send and receive text e-mail messages. Vodafone has launched a range of WAP services under the banner of Vodafone Interactive, and offers a Personal Preference Page (known as P3) which allows users to customise services (for example, you can choose to receive the latest stock prices on your phone). Later in the year, it will also be offering a Virtual Personal Assistant which acts as an online organiser.

Future mobile phone applications are even more fantastic. Vodafone has offered demonstrations of services that will allow users to set up video links or send live video footage all via a mobile. These services will become more feasible when the new generation of network licences come online in the near future, enabling data transfers of 2 megabytes a second. Until then, the latest mobiles offer the first taste of WAP functionality, but check with your network provider for details and compatibility.

For further information on the new generation of Vodafone services, e-mail

Siemens S25

Siemens was the first to launch a WAP phone in the UK (see introduction, below, for definitions). The S25 has a large colour screen for Internet browsing and an SMS facility for messaging to other phones or e-mail addresses. Additional features include an organiser. pounds 80 with connection. For stockists and information call Siemens on 0345 400700.

Nokia 7110 phone

The 7110 has a large graphics display and a "NaviRoller" which is used to scroll through the menu and access phone book functions. To aid text entry, there is a built-in dictionary which predicts and completes the word you are writing, drastically cutting down on time spent inputting characters. pounds 150 (with connection). For stockists and information call Nokia on 0990 003110.

Alcatel One Touch Pocket

The One Touch Pocket should be available in this country later in the year. It has a large screen (five lines of 15 characters) to cope with WAP information, but one of its most useful features is decidedly low-tech - a compartment that takes standard batteries in case the phone's own battery is drained. For stockists and information call Alcatel on 0171-458 0026 or visit

Motorola Timeport P7389

The Timeport is the first GSM "tri-band" phone, which means that it can be used worldwide (including the US) except in certain parts of Asia. The phone is aimed at business people on the move, and utilises WAP technology so that you keep tabs on e-mails and check timetables. pounds 129 with connection. For stockists and information call Motorola on 0500 555555.

Ericsson T28 phone with MC218 organiser

Until Ericsson makes its WAP debut, it has launched an organiser dedicated for use with its mobiles. The latest lightweight Ericsson mobile works in conjunction with the MC218 organiser to provide e-mail, fax SMS messages and Internet access. Connection is via an infrared modem (no cables required) - just line up the two units to access WAP services. T28 phone pounds 300 with connection; MC218 pounds 480; DI28 modem pounds 100. For stockists and information call Ericsson on 0990 237237.