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Opera Offers Web Browsing For Low-End Mobile Phones

Opera Software on Wednesday unveiled a cellular phone client and server that make it possible to access web pages with low-end cellular phones running a Java-based application platform.
Opera Software on Wednesday unveiled a cellular phone client and server that make it possible to access web pages with low-end cellular phones running a Java-based application platform.

The Opera Mini technology, which is based on Java 2 Mobile Edition standards, is meant as an alternative to the Norwegian company's regular mobile browser. The Mini targets the 700 million low- and mid-tier Java-capable phones worldwide that are currently incapable of running a web browser, the company said.

Rather than run a browser on the phone to process web pages, the Opera Mini server pre-processes the page before sending it to the client on the phone. As a result, people with low-end phones would be able to access the web without upgrading the device, giving wireless carriers or mobile content providers the ability to offer more revenue-generating services immediately, the company said.

"Mobile Web surfing has until now been limited to more advanced phones that are capable of running a browser," Jon S. von Tetzchner, chief executive of Opera Software, said in a statement. "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."

Installing the Opera Mini client is as easy as downloading a ring tone, the company said. Norwegian television station TV2 is testing Opera Mini to deliver mobile content.

Opera Mini is currently in beta. General availability will be announced at a later date, the company said.