Local media report that China Mobile (CHL), one of the main telecom operators in China, has begun to block the WAP network in ten provinces including Jiangxi, Anhui, part of Jiangsu, part of Hunan, part of Guangxi and part of Hubei.

As a result of China Mobile's action, users in those regions will be transferred to China Mobile's Monternet when they try to log into a local WAP site and they will be charged a fee based on traffic when they choose to log into an independent WAP site by means of CMNET. Local pundits estimate that China Mobile's behavior will have a negative influence on free WAP websites by diluting up to 85% of their users.

WAP is popular among users because of its free content. There are over 10000 free WAP websites in China, and thousands more around the world that are available for users to cruise around on their phones. In order to prevent user loss, in November 2005, China Mobile rolled out a policy, forbidding mobile value-added service providers to promote their services on free WAP sites and a month later, it announced plans not to provide any user number or terminal information for free WAP websites.

If actions like these spread, China Mobile's monopolization of the wireless web will be complete. What will users instead rely on? If more phones have Wi-Fi capabilities, users will be able to use their phones near hotspots to get online by navigating around Monternet's system.


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