Opera Mini Brings the Web to Low-End Mobile Phones

Here is some good news for all those mobile phone users who love web surfing on their handsets, but feel handicapped because of not having an advanced phone. Norway-based Opera Software, a major global player in browser technologies, has now launched Opera Mini, a J2ME (Java 2 Mobile Edition) web browser that will virtually make all mobile phones Internet compatible. The new browser is expected to provide web access to more than 700 million low- and mid-tier Java-capable phones globally.

Opera Software is claiming that the new solution will help in converting a sizeable chunk of WAP-enabled phones into Web-enabled phones. Says Jon S Von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software, “Mobile Web surfing has until now been limited to more advanced phones that are capable of running a browser. With Opera Mini, the phone only has to run a small Java-client and the rest is taken care of by the remotely located Opera Mini server.”

The basic functional modality of Opera Mini is that it makes use of a remote server to pre-process the web page before sending it to the mobile phone. Installing Opera Mini to the phone is also very easy. The handset user just needs to send an SMS or visit a link through their WAP browser to receive it, and they get it instantly. The browser uses small-screen rendering, which reformats the page to fit inside the screen width and eliminate horizontal scrolling. While content and functionality remain intact, the only thing that is modified is the page layout – a key element to surf the web on a mobile device.

The new solution is also expected to spur the revenue numbers of operators as more customers with low to mid-tier phones will now be using their phones for web surfing. This theory is testified by Morten Holst, VP Strategy, TV2 Interactive of Norway which has become first company to take advantage of Opera Mini, “Finally we see how we can generate revenue from real mobile browsing. By introducing TV2′s portal through Opera Mini, we have combined the best of mobile services with mobile Web access.”

Opera Mini has been presently launched on a pilot basis in Norway and will soon be available to customers elsewhere in the world.


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