WCITIES launches wireless travel guides

WCITIES, a provider of location-based information about world cities for portals, Web pages and wireless carriers, has launched a wireless travel guide.
Targeting users of cell phones, Palm Pilot, Psion, Handspring, Cassiopeia and other handheld devices, has produced a customized version of its Web pages compatible with the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP).
“The growth of wireless consumers has been tremendous,” said Fraser Campbell, North American vice president for wireless at WCITIES. “With wireless travel guides, WCITIES will be able to serve this expanding market.”
Campbell said that in addition to links and back and forth buttons, WCITIES users have multiple search options to find what they are looking for in hundreds of cities around the world. For example, mobile browsers can use their handheld to search by neighborhood and keyword. Cell phone users can dial a selected phone number directly from the device`s screen.
The WAP version is smaller and more compact, providing a text only version of WCITIES content. Campbell said that by using code written in HTML, PHP and MYSQL, WCITIES created its PDA accessible Web pages that are capable of displaying “rich browser quality content.” In the USA, WAP-enabled cell phone users can go to (hdml.wcities.com) and PDA users can go to (pda.wcities.com). In Europe, cell phone users can go to (wap.wcities.com).
WCITIES provides multi-lingual local coverage of the world`s top cities from Los Angeles to London, New York to Tokyo, Houston to Hong Kong, Paris to Buenos Aires and all major points in between. Facets of city life including hotels, restaurants, sporting events, entertainment, shopping and transportation are part of WCITIES wireless cities.
Last month, WCITIES attracted a US$15 million dollar investment from BTOpenworld for a 17% equity stake. The investment followed a six-month period in which WCITIES secured several significant deals with major telecommunications companies, Web and WAP portals and wireless operators.
WCITIES will enable customers of BTOpenworld’s mobile Internet, narrowband and broadband services to have access to globally and locally relevant information and services on over 230 cities. The service will be expanded to more than 400 cities by spring 2001 and can already be viewed in the travel section of btinternet.com (www.btinternet.com).
“This investment represents further validation of the wcities technology platform and business model reflecting our position as the premier international provider of local information and location based services across multiple platforms including PCs, PDAs, mobile phones and set-top boxes,” said Tan Rasab, CEO of WCITIES.