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WCL (Wireless Commerce Limited), world-leading innovators of mobile commerce platforms, today warns that a continuing failure by UK organisations to provide high quality content for m-commerce and other mobile applications, combined with a general disillusionment in WAP uptake, will leave the UK lagging far behind more mature Scandinavian m-commerce markets.

The warning from WCL, which recently rolled out its operations to the UK from the heart of Finland’s telecom research and development community, primarily blames the mindset of UK content providers and some network operators who, it states, are responsible for depriving consumers from fully embracing m-commerce opportunities. The organisation has seen a stark difference in the UK’s attitude from that of its home country, Finland, whose population enjoys an ‘m-commerce’ lifestyle, made possible by the country’s strong focus on content development.

Mike Franklin, UK managing director of WCL in the UK, said: "Instead of complaining about the poor uptake of WAP, organisations need to seize the initiative and develop content to embrace existing technologies such as SMS text messaging, which requires no additional investment from operators. The WAP revolution overtook SMS, but there is no need to wait for the next killer application - m-commerce can be done today using text messaging with a standard GSM phone.

"The situation here is markedly different from that in Finland, where internet banking is taken for granted and text messaging is a national pastime. The Finns have taken mobile commerce to the next level, where it is social behaviour that is driving the technology forward. For example, over in Finland, people think nothing of using their mobile phone to select and pay for a car wash or even to pay for their lunch at the local coffee shop!"

According to the Mobile Data Association (MDA), the number of SMS text messages sent throughout the UK during November 2000 had risen by 293% since the same period in 1999. The popularity of text messaging was further highlighted by figures received from the four UK GSM network operators that showed the total number of text messages sent throughout the calendar year up until mid December 2000 was a phenomenal 5.4 billion.

WCL has been working with a number of UK companies to enable them to ‘transport’ their current business model, via WCL’s WASP environment, across to their users’ mobile phones or PDAs. Its clients include Teletext, giving consumers free access to content through their mobile phones, and eBay UK, which enables its users to not only receive message alerts on new items that have come up for auction, but also to enable them to bid for items through two-way interaction.

WCL delivers leading-edge technology solutions, which integrate both SMS and WAP applications. By providing a seamless communication and commerce interface between an organisation’s website and its users’ mobile devices, WCL’s Wireless Gateway facilitates the delivery of time-critical information and services via interactive SMS messaging. The range of online services includes auctions, travel, betting, permission based marketing, stock broking, e-tailing, information services and message management.

About WCL:

Established in January 1999, Wireless Commerce Ltd (WCL) is a world-leading innovator, providing platforms and applications for mobile marketing, communication and commerce. Its highly flexible m-commerce platform, Wireless Commerce Engine is a business-to-business packaged solution that allows clients with wide ranging business models to offer m-commerce services to their customers.

For further information please contact:

WCL Press Enquiries

Sarah Rowan / Julia Jahansoozi,

Citigate Technology

Tel: 020 7282 1049 / 2998


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