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WHSmith goes WAP-tastic

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Gadget-loving bookworms can soon order their favourite tomes using their do-WAP enabled mobile phones. The nation's favourite newsagent, WHSmith, said it expects to launch its Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) book retailing service by the end of March. The company is currently in discussions with all the major network providers, including Orange, Vodafone and BT Cellnet, to support the wireless service. Kate Kennedy, MD of WHSmith Online, said: "No other UK bookseller, online or off, can match our ability to allow customers to shop via the Internet, mobile technology, digital TV or on the High Street. "We see the wireless world as a key element to fulfilling our ecommerce potential," she said. WHSmith's do-WAP a diddy diddy do-WAP move into mobile-commerce is part of its plan to corner 30 per cent of the British online book market within the next three years, the company said. It is estimated that within five years wireless devices could account for 20 per cent of the total ecommerce market. The British m-commerce market is expected to be worth £2 billion by 2003. ® See also: WH Smith to launch Web portal tomorrow

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