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Webserver on Nokia Cellphone June 5, 2006

Posted by rajAT in mobile, nokia, technology.

Nokia has ported the Apache webserver to Symbian, in order to enable mobile phones to serve content on the World Wide Web. Many mobile phones today have more processing power than early Internet servers, suggesting that "there really is no reason anymore why webservers could not reside on mobile phones," according to the company.There are some companies in Hyderabad who are trying to port a J2EE server on the mobile phone. So there is lots of activity in this area.

But only thing is there are no good use cases where they can be used.
Nokia has listed few use cases here –

Nokia notes that websites hosted on mobile phones enable phone owners to inter-actively participate in content generation. For example, Nokia has written an application that prompts the phone owner to take a picture, which is then relayed to the requester as a JPEG.

Another touted advantage is that the amount of personal information stored on mobile phones makes it easy to "semi-automatically generate a personal home page."

So far, Nokia's "concept demonstration applications" include:

* Interactive, contextual, and location-dependent content
o Use the phone as a webcam
o Find other mobile web sites in the proximity
o Find out the location of a mobile website (cellid)

* Enabling new communication means without operator involvement
o Send instant message
o Leave instant message in the inbox
o Leave a note on a mobile weblog

* Access core data
o Access favorites, contacts, calendar, logs, and messages
o Download images
o Mount a read-write view of the root webserver directory and edit pages directly using WebDAV

But these all I would say are Vitamins and not Pain killers. No technology for that matter gets widely adopted untill an unless it solves one customer pain point beautifully.

Though a webserver or J2EE server on a mobile phone can be big thing but we have to think a big customer pain point.

So lets put on our thinking hats. 🙂



1. Vishal - June 5, 2006

I tried downloading this an checking this out… Don’t you think this is too huge for a Nokia?

Using Apache Webeserver which itself is quite huge…then something which requires Jdk1.5+, tomcat 5.5+ , Myfaces and a lot of other jar files… Dont u think that this would virtually kill a cellphone? [ i screwed a pda once 🙂 ]

I was always wondering about Tomcat on nokia…It takes some 30 seconds to run on my DE Labs pc with 1 GB ram…how much time does a scaled down version run on such an arm processor…2 min..5 min… And do u keep the tomcat running always? And performing image processing on a Tomcat running on Nokia…did u ever try that out?

I am just wondering if that could be done with the present Nokia for some real worthfile use…

Anyways was Just Curious, and pleseantly surprised too 🙂

2. rajAT - June 5, 2006

Interesting one Vishal.

The kind of webservers that will get ported on the mobile phones will be stripped down ones. They will not be very CPU and RAM hungry.

The mobile phone that I am using right now can easily compete on CPU and RAM front with the IBM MMX machines that I first used in IIIT and that was the processing power available with the earlier mainframes.

Moore law is applicable on mobile phones also. Soon you will be talking in GBs, Ghz for mobiles also.

Jst hang on 🙂

3. olorinsledge - June 5, 2006

This is another case of technology trying to provide a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.

Utter waste of time in my opinion – of course, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been proven wrong if there is an actual real world application found for it!

4. rajAT - June 6, 2006


Lets wait n watch buddy 🙂

5. Mobile Phones - August 24, 2006


Interesting topic… I’m working in this industry myself and I don’t agree about this in 100%, but I added your page to my bookmarks and hope to see more interesting articles in the future

6. 40 mg fioricet - December 24, 2006

40 mg fioricet


7. SP - August 1, 2008

hey rajat is right in some sense. Just wait for 1 year and u will surely find people hosting content from cell phone. Currently we use third party content providers. Once 3G is in India tech guys will push their content and host them through their cell phones. Just 1 year and the telecom backbone will support all this and cell phones will be hosting lot of content.

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