Bitstream is launching its new BOLT mobile browser today with the claim that it is the fastest on the market.

Sampo Kaasila, VP of R&D at Bitstream told, that the new browser was "25-50 per cent faster" than competitor Opera.

Speaking at Showstoppers on the eve of Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona he said this was backed up by tests carried out in India.

While he admitted the tests weren’t done independently of Bitstream, he was confident user experience would bear out the company’s claims.

Kaasila said the BOLT beta provides a PC desktop-like view of Web pages on even the most basic feature phones.

It will not, however, be available on the iPhone and Bitstream has no plans at the moment to change that.

Bitstream is hoping to appeal to hordes of non-iPhone handset owners, of whom only around 15 per cent regularly browse the internet on their mobiles.

"We are hoping to increase that percentage with BOLT," said Kaasila.

The mobile browser includes high standards compliance such as AJAX and flash video support.

Kaasila said it also both optimized to conserve battery life and to minimize data transmissions – so allowing people to browse longer without recharging batteries while consuming less data.

BOLT supports streaming video from the likes of YouTube,,,,, and

Features of the BOLT public beta release include:

  • Fast, secure, desktop-style web browsing on both high-end and low-end handsets
  • Streaming flash video capabilities
  • WebKit rendering engine offers high standards compliance
  • Support for XML, ATOM and RDF formats of RSS feeds
  • Support for JavaScript and AJAX
  • Split screen and full screen modes for easy navigation and viewing
  • Intuitive keystroke shortcuts for easier navigation and content selection
  • 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption for secure access to web pages
  • Server filtering to protect users from spyware and other malware
  • Certificate error notification
  • Easily add and select favorites and view browsing history
  • Ability to clear history and cookies

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