Proxy vs. Gateway? device settings? Carrier's WAP Access?

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neeraj mehta
New member
Username: Neerajme

Post Number: 1
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 01:25 pm:   

We are evaluating various WAP Proxies/Gateways to host them for enterprises. This space is a bit confusing and to top that our needs are a bit different so I will really appreciate any help you can provide.

Bunch of questions:

1. Is Now.WAP a proxy or a gateway? Or in the context of the Mobile internet, is it that all WAP Proxies are also WAP Gateways?

2. Does Now.WAP proxy/gw alter the regular html pages to make them fit on the mobile screen? If so, does it always do this?

3. Does Now.WAP Proxy have a mode in which it does not do any protocol translation?

We are considering installing the Now.Wap Proxy for our customers. I believe we will need to modify the WAP Gateway settings on their phones.

4. Is there clean way to make these device settings without physical access to the device?

5. If not, and assuming we have physical access to the device do we need secret codes for each phone to access the secret device setting menus and use bitpim(+ hex editor) in some cases to make changes?

6. Assuming we make the changes on the device and point the device to Now.wap proxy, will it inadvertently break other data services like MMS, Music/Video Streaming, HTTPS, IM that also access the internet etc..

7. After we modify their device settings to point to Now.Wap proxy, will our customers be able access the Carrier's WAP home page if they so wish? If not, is there anything we can do to enable this? If there is nothing we can do, what does the Carrier need to do to allows Now.WAP proxy to access their WAP Gateway/home page. Finally in your opinion is the carrier likely to do it or do you think it is highly unlikely?

Thanks in advance.

Bryce Norwood - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Bryce

Post Number: 7583
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 06:03 pm:   

1. In this product space, I would say that proxy and gateway have the same meaning. We think that proxy more accurately describes the functionality, while "WAP Gateway" is just older terminology.

2. No. Content adaptation is not part of this product.

3. If a client uses basic HTTP functionality, then the proxy provides just basic pass-thru services.

4. OTA provisioning is supported by most handsets. This is where the settings are sent over SMS. Our NowSMS product provides this functionality.

However, because of the possibilities for abuse, user interaction on the receiving device is required.

Most devices require that the settings be encoded with a PIN value, and when the user receives the settings, they must enter that PIN in order to activate the settings.

Also, some handsets, particularly Windows Mobile, are very difficult to provision because the settings need to be sent to the device with a PIN code that includes the IMSI number of the SIM in the device. (IMSI is not the phone number.)

Blackberry is another one that really requires its own Blackberry specific provisioning system, and can't be done via this OTA method.

5. Smart phones, as I mentioned above, are the tough ones to deal with.

6. It can. With regard to MMS, there is usually a separate settings profile with separate APN and proxy settings for the MMS client only. So as long as you only change the browser settings, you're ok on this front. But there may be other applications that are only accessible directly via the operator network, and they may not allow an external proxy to connect.

7. It depends. Some operator applications and services may be firewalled off so that they can only be accessed via the operator proxy, and not via external proxies.
Jim Cannon
New member
Username: Jdc1958

Post Number: 1
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Friday, September 18, 2009 - 12:25 pm:   

We are an MVNO using the Verizon network. We have a WAP site that we want to provide to pre-paid users who are not paying for data...we will provide data for free. The WAP site will allow them to check minute balance/top up and manage a pre-paid debit card.

We want to use Motorola handsets from a refurbishing facility, and will want to confine the browsers to our WAP site for obvious reasons. Do we need to use a proxy for this? If so, what would the browser settings be? Also, can we re-set the browser on existing handsets via OTA using NowSMS?
Des - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Desosms

Post Number: 1281
Registered: 08-2008
Posted on Friday, September 18, 2009 - 03:10 pm:   

Hi Jim,

I don't know the answer to this.

For some reason over the years, a lot of people who are using Verizon (end-users) come to us. They want to setup their own WAP gateway because Verizon gives them data for free, but I can only gather that DNS is missing, so they need a proxy or gateway.

That whole scenario makes no sense to me. It seems like a big whole in the operator's billing scheme.

So we do not understand this whole scenario with Verizon.

I don't know if you would need a WAP gateway/proxy, or if it is just a DNS issue, you could point your subscribers to a WAP site on a dedicated IP address instead of by host name as an alternative to a proxy.

The next challenge you would face would be identifying the subscriber when they connect to the WAP site.

Normally, the way that it works is that the network access server (the point that converts over the air data to IP) sends a RADIUS accounting feed to the WAP gateway. That is how the WAP gateway matches up IP addresses with phone numbers.

In this scenario, I don't anticipate you getting a RADIUS accounting feed from Verizon. (I've seen other operators do this with MVNO's ... but Verizon seems to have a lot of smaller MVNO's.)

But I have seen that Verizon phones seem to be pre-programmed to include a caller id in all data requests. We have an MMSC installed at one customer on a small island where this operator used to be a Verizon subsidiary. As such, they get phones from Verizon suppliers. These phones generate an HTTP header "X-VzW-MSISDN" with the caller id.

There is a problem that this header is very easy to spoof if someone is using a datacard.

So all in all, I don't have good answers for your questions. You'll basically have to experiment.

As for resetting the browser settings via OTA, that is more difficult in CDMA environments.

The NowSMS web forms assume GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/WCDMA/etc environments. So the XML generated by NowSMS is for those environments. The XML is slightly different for CDMA/CDMA2000 environments like Verizon.

If you generate your own OMA Provisioning XML content, NowSMS can encode it for CDMA environments ... *but* ... you need to be connected to an SMSC that understands WDP Adaptation for CDMA environments.

Most CDMA SMSC connections are only expecting to handle text messages. WDP Adaptation is a way that multiple segmented binary SMS messages can be sent.

In GSM environments, the binary headers can be constructed directly by NowSMS, and a generic SMSC connection that supports binary SMS will work.

In CDMA environments, there are binary headers that need to be set which can only be set by the SMSC itself.

CDMA operators will generally have at least one SMSC that can handle messages sent with WDP Adaptation. (This is how our MMSC gets implemented for CDMA operators.) However, whether or not operator customers can connect to an SMSC that supports this seems to be very rare.

NowSMS Support
Jim Cannon
New member
Username: Jdc1958

Post Number: 2
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Friday, September 18, 2009 - 04:30 pm:   


I would not say the Verizon gives data away, rather what they do is to prevent MVNO's from blocking data delivery to their even a user who does not select a particular data package of "X" MB per month, is able to use data and thus incur incremental MB charges. In the case of a pre-paid plan, like we offer, this data leakage is a serious issue since we have no way to bill for ad hoc data usage.

So in order to turn lemons into lemonade, we designed a WAP site to perform various functions like mobile banking, top up of minutes and checking minute balance. We are not unhappy about giving the data away at this point since we also receive transaction revenue from the mobile banking.and customers will be happy checking their minute balance without incurring an sms fee.

We have smart phones that we provision with the same process as standard handsets. The windows mobile and RIM operating systems seem to seamlessly navigate the web, however the BREW based browsers seem to be configured with different credentials and can only access the favorite son of Verizon, a company called "mobileweb4u".which in effect does the same thing we want to do.except they provide content at a cost to us of $4 per handset per month.

Our theory is that we can first set the BREW browsers to the same credentials as the IE browser and then confine the browser to a particular dns/ip.

I can identify subscribers via a log in. Does that solve most of the issues?
Des - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Desosms

Post Number: 1288
Registered: 08-2008
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 05:35 pm:   

Hi Jim,

I think the big question is how to provision those browsers (over the air).

If you can point them to a proxy, then you can certainly limit what is accessible via the proxy (with firewall).

And yes, if the users have to login to your portal instead of your relying on identification based upon their phone number, then that becomes a non-issue.

NowSMS Support
Jim Cannon
New member
Username: Jdc1958

Post Number: 3
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 05:50 pm:   


Yes I think from this perspective things are getting easier, but I still have no clear handle on how to confine the browsers in the first place, even through the flashing process. I have posed the dilemma to many consultants around the world though LinkedIn connections, but to date, you seem to have the best grasp of the situation. Can Nowsms work with me to find a solution? Give me a call at 202-276-2305

New member
Username: Odor

Post Number: 1
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 10:24 am:   

hi, how can i use my nokia 3110c with proxy/gateway? i hav tried it but not working plz help me. am in naija using mtn network}
Des - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Desosms

Post Number: 1457
Registered: 08-2008
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 02:48 pm:   


how can i use my nokia 3110c with proxy/gateway?

If you are an individual end user there is no good reason to do this.

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