What is WAP ?


WAP, also known as Wireless Applications Protocol, acts as a key that enables our mobile phones and other small devices to connect to the internet. It allows us to visit websites, check emails and perform various online activities on our phones, even if they are not as powerful as computers. WAP has been in existence for quite some time now and has made it easier for us to utilize the internet on our mobile devices.



The WAP Model

When using a mobile device, users can open a web browser and access websites, browsing through different pages. To make this possible, the mobile device sends the URL request to a WAP gateway using the WAP protocol over the network. The WAP gateway translates this request into a conventional HTTP URL request and forwards it over the internet. Finally, the response is sent back to the mobile device in the form of a WML file, which is then displayed on the web browser of the device.



  1. The Application Layer (WAE)

The Wireless Application Environment comprises programming languages like WML and specifications for mobile devices. It functions similarly to JavaScript and encompasses the tools utilized by developers of wireless Internet content. It includes scripting languages such as WML and WMLScript, which are used alongside WML.

  1. The Session Layer (WSP)

The Session Layer determines whether the session between the device and the network will be connection oriented or connectionless. It provides features like reconnection and fast connection suspension. In a connection oriented session, data is exchanged bidirectionally between the network and the device. The packet is then forwarded to the next layer, which is known as Wireless Transaction Protocol (WTP). In cases where information is being streamed or broadcasted from the network to the device, a connectionless session is commonly used. The packet is then forwarded to the Wireless Datagram Protocol (WDP) layer.

3.The Transaction Layer (WTP)

The Wireless Transaction Protocol offers support for transactions. It is a component of TCP/IP and operates on top of UDP, which stands for User Datagram Protocol.

  1. The Security Layer (WTLS)

The Wireless Transport Layer Security ensures data integrity, privacy and authentication, providing security measures to safeguard your data.

It can also function similarly to Transport Layer Security and it includes security capabilities similar to Transport Layer Security.

  1. Carrier Layer (WDP)

The Wireless Datagram Protocol works together with the network carrier layer and provides a consistent data format to the upper layers of the WAP protocol stack.

Components of WAP

The WAP consists of three main components;

  1. Protocol Support

For IP networks; The supported protocols include WP HTTP (a wireless version of HTTP), TLS (Transport Layer Security) and WP TCP (a profiled version of TCP for wireless networks).

For non IP networks; It involves four layers. Wireless Transport Layer Security, Wireless Datagram Protocol, Wireless Session Protocol and Wireless Transaction Protocol.

  1. Application Environment

WML Specification; The Wireless Markup Language (WML) is used for structuring content on wireless devices. It is based on XML and XHTML.

WMLScript Specification; This scripting language allows code execution on clients.

WAP Micro Browser; Specifically designed to control WAP devices.

WAP devices have the ability to operate in environments with limited resources thanks to the assistance of a WAP micro browser.

  1. Services and Capabilities

Personalized User Profiles; WAP allows servers to customize content delivered to users based on their device capabilities and personal preferences.

Support for Telephony; With wireless application protocol, telephone services can be accessed within a data environment. This means that WAP phones can function as both web devices and integrated voice tools.

Application of WAP

Mobile internet access; WAP allows us to connect to the internet on our mobile phones, giving us the ability to browse websites, check emails and use other online services.

Online banking and transactions; With WAP, we can securely perform banking activities like transferring money and paying bills using our mobile devices.

Information retrieval; WAP makes it easy for us to access information on the go. We can stay updated with news, weather updates and other relevant data through our mobile phones.

Communication; Thanks to WAP, we can utilize messaging services, email and social media applications on our mobile devices. This helps us stay connected with others effortlessly.

Location based services; WAP enables us to take advantage of location based services such as maps and navigation. It assists us in finding directions and nearby services through our mobile devices.

These applications highlight the versatility and convenience that WAP brings to our mobile computing experiences. It has become an integral part of our daily lives.

Use of WAP

WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is a technology used in computer fundamentals that enables our phones and other small devices to connect to the internet. It allows us to perform various tasks like browsing websites, checking emails, using social media and shopping online on our mobile devices. Essentially, it’s what enables us to access the internet on our phones, even if they aren’t as powerful as computers.

Key Features of WML

User Interaction; WML offers simple ways for users to interact, allowing them to choose inputs such as keys or voice. It supports different types of input like text entry control, password entry and option selector.

Text and Images; WML provides a way to present images and text to users. The images are monochrome and need to be in WBMP format.

Navigation; WML includes features for browsing history and hyperlink navigation.

Context Management; WML allows saving states between different sections. Unlike HTML, which doesn’t support storing variables directly, WML lets you define variables that hold data in string format.

HTML is primarily used as a markup language for desktops, while WML is designed for small wireless computing devices.

WML supports the WBMP image format, while HTML can handle GIF, JPEG and BMP formats. It’s important to note that HTML is not case sensitive, whereas WML follows the XHTML specification and is case sensitive.


WAP has played a crucial role in making the internet accessible on our phones. Despite the emergence of newer technologies, it still remains a contributing factor to why we can accomplish so much using our phones today. Understanding how WAP functions helps us appreciate how we have managed to stay connected even while on the move.


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