22.2 Will WAP-Enabled Phones Dominate the Personal Computer Marketplace?

22.2 Will WAP-Enabled Phones Dominate the Personal Computer Marketplace?

Everyday there is some news about WAP-enabled phones and their growing use toward the Internet. Is this growth going to sustain or even surpass people's expectations to become the most-important medium for communication and commerce? Will it lead the static wired E-commerce to wireless M-commerce? Although the only Internet-enabling technology being adopted en masse by handset manufacturers and service providers is WAP, there are other options such as J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition), a mobile ASP (application service provider), a Citrix terminal solution, and an OracleMobile solution, all of which totally ignore cellular telephones and promise to satisfy all of your mobile Internet business needs over a pager. In addition, there are issues with WAP's Wireless Markup Language (WML), which cannot be read on an HTML browser and vice versa. Is Sun's J2ME, which allows a small application to run on the telephone so it can be used even when disconnected, a good solution; or is it too small and does it lack too many of the Java standard-edition components needed to create usable applications, as reported by Internet service vendors (ISVs)? In Sun's defense, Motorola displayed applications such as expense reports, e-mail, and calendaring on a Motorola iDEN cellular telephone running J2ME. [3]

In the business-to-business (B2B) environment, real-time mobile access to online exchanges, virtual communities, and auctions can be facilitated by M-commerce. Mobile workers such as sales reps, truck drivers, and service personnel will be able to use the mobile Internet. Medical doctors will be able to use their handheld PDAs to access patient information, information on available drugs, and online ordering and scheduling of prescriptions, clinical tests, and other procedures. Unified messaging services will allow mobile workers to use a single device for all their communications and interactions; and ubiquitous computing will use online connections to communicate exception reports, performance problems, and errors to service personnel. [4] Most IT executives are still on the fence, whereas a few early adopters have settled on proprietary technologies. One example is a women's accessory company, NineWest, which has a non-WAP client/server solution for its field reps and buyers deployed into older Nokia 9000 cellular telephones. Developed by the Finnish company Celesta, it creates smart forms using Short Message Service (SMS) rather than going through an ISP. This solution has reportedly been profitable for NineWest because it alerts headquarters in real-time, rather than through weekly batch files, when a store carrying its line needs to be restocked.

Similarly, NeoPoint of La Jolla, California, a developer of Web telephones, has created a wireless service called myAladdin.com that, among other abilities, can monitor information such as airline flights or stock performance, and alert a user when a flight is delayed or a stock price drops. InfoMove of Kirkland, Washington, integrates the Global Positioning System (GPS) and text-to-speech technologies to create a private-label information service that has been sold to DaimlerChrysler and Paccar, a heavy truck manufacturer. Tekelec makes equipment for wired and wireless telecommunications suppliers to enable them to offer value-added services to their customers. Because the Federal Communications Commission requires that if you switch or move, your telephone company must let you keep your old telephone market, Tekelec's local number portability (LDP) software is the best on the market and with its reseller networks such as Lucent and Tellabs, Tekelec is a strong takeover candidate.

[3]Schwartz, E., WAP: The technology everyone loves to hate, available at www.infoworld.com, June 23, 2000.

[4]Herman, J., The coming revolution in M-commerce, Business Communications Review, October 2000, pp. 24–24.

Wireless Internet Handbook. Technologies, Standards and Applications
Wireless Internet Handbook: Technologies, Standards, and Applications (Internet and Communications)
ISBN: 0849315026
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 239

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