Seven days in a row, e*Message held a showdown at high noon at its CeBIT fair stand: “WAP vs. e*Skyper — Who’s Quicker?” Seven days in a row, the challengers tried to obtain information as fast as the e*Skyper man. And seven days in a row, e*Skyper won.
An unusual showdown took place each day at noon in Hall 25 at CeBIT. To
the theme music from Once Upon a Time in the West, e*Message welcomed
challengers in its contest “HIGH NOON: WAP vs. e*Skyper — Who’s
Quicker?” Two duellists had to find the same information within three
minutes — one armed with a WAP-compatible mobile phone, the other with
an e*Skyper pager.
The information to find consisted of a weather report for a large city, three current share prices, and the address of a restaurant.
On the very first day a CeBIT visitor from Munich called out the e*Skyper man — but soon backed down. Mobile Internet access was unavailable! Other challengers drew their WAP mobile phones and overcame this obstacle, but none of them was able to see the job through. Each of the losers nonetheless walked away a winner, with an e*Skyper start-up package, including a pager and a year’s subscription: they will enjoy over 80 e*Skyper info programs and 600 continuously updated stock prices! Other companies’ trade fair staff and product managers also took up the gauntlet. Representatives of VIAG Interkom and Siemens were on the scene. Employees from a Palm and Handspring application supplier shied away from a showdown, saying GSM-based services couldn’t compete. In spite of direct invitations* to Ericsson, Hutchison, Nokia, Sagem, Benefon and other exhibitors at CeBIT, no one from these companies dared to match WAP over GPRS against e*Skyper.