22.10 WAP and M-Commerce

22.10 WAP and M-Commerce

The average mobile telephone is essentially a dumb device: good for allowing people to chat, but hopeless when it comes to managing the information that makes people's lives go round. For the past few years, the wireless industry has been engaged in a gargantuan effort to change this. The idea is to create a single smart gadget that will allow people to check their e-mail, consult the Internet, plan their schedule, and, of course, make telephone calls; in other words, a combination of an electronic organizer, a personal computer, and a mobile telephone.

Toward M-commerce applications, Sonera of Finland, which has implemented an Apion WAP gateway, is the world's first telecom operator to launch WAP services (Spring 1999). In addition to providing its own services, the telco/cellco is actively and rapidly creating partnerships with companies such as Finnair, CNN Interactive, Yellow Pages, Tieto Corporation, and Pohjola. [12]

In April 2000, a company in California called Everypath started to deliver a new era of freedom in mobility and convenience which enabled a user to shop, purchase gift certificates, bid on auctions, trade stocks, play games, pay bills, purchase fine wines, get driving directions, check the calendar, reserve a hotel room, track home prices, plan a vacation, stay in touch, or order tickets from the palm of the hand or with the sound of the voice, regardless of the user's location.

In Japan, NTT DoCoMo has sold more than 1 million of its Internet-based i-mode telephones in the six months since they were launched, and received remarkably few complaints. The rest of the world's producers are getting ready for a surge in demand as they release their products over the next few months.

Internet content providers are already tailoring their products for telephone users: getting rid of power-hungry pictures, for example, and distilling long-winded news stories into the bald facts. Nokia has an alliance with CNN to provide news that has been specifically designed for telephones. NTT DoCoMo reports that there are already more than 1000 companies providing Web pages for its telephones. [13]

[12]Murphy, D., The mobile economy becomes a reality, Telecommunications, 33 (11), 31–34, 1999.

[13]Woolridge, A., Survey: telecommunication — in search of smart phones, Economist, October 1999, 353(8140), pp. 12–16.

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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