High-speed Internet access over circuit-switched wireless networks is not a very viable means for providing a base for data services that expect access to screens of information. Fortunately, circuit-switched wireless networks are undergoing change from their present form to one where all information will travel in the form of packets. At present, there are any number of GPRS tests underway in various GSM networks in Europe and Asia. Similarly in the United States, Sprint and Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) have moved to convert their wireless networks from circuit-switched to 2G IP packet-based networks. The impact of these migrations will serve to enhance WAP-based applications because the higher-speed IP packet networks will support greater throughput for all services.
Operators see the introduction of data as a way of addressing declining voice revenues. These operators will be only too glad to accommodate the WAP-enabled user who wishes access to the Internet for a variety of services. If nothing else, WAP-enabled handsets will more than ensure the operator of much-higher revenues over voice because data access will ensure long call-hold times and therefore much greater network occupancy.
Integrated access of both voice and enhanced WAP data services will ensure that the network operators will have more services to sell under a variety of pricing plans. Network operators will be more than a data delivery pipe; they will be purveyors of a range of upscale consumer services. These services will serve the needs of the subscriber in ways not thought of previously.