While with the early introduction of third-generation (3G) wireless networks, some financial and technical hindrances to the launch of 3G/Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS)  networks and services were seen, by 2010, mobile business (m-business) services are likely to be pervasive in the economically advanced countries of the world. An emergent class of new, network-enabled services will drive a substantial part of the growth in 3G/ UMTS business applications. Even newer generations of 4G services may enter the scene by 2005. In this chapter, an approach for distinguishing, conceptualizing, and evaluating the market potential of such network-enabled 3G services is presented.
The chapter is divided into seven parts. The part following this introduction describes the multiple dimensions on which m-business applications, especially in the business-to-business (B2B) arena, offer advantages and enhancements over regular, computer-based electronic commerce (e-commerce). Next, the concept of "network-enabled" m-business services is explained. This is followed by profiles of selected, proposed, new UMTS/3G m-business services in the B2B arena. Using an evaluative framework that we developed, we offer a comparative assessment of the profiled m-business services. Finally, we offer general guidelines for assessing new m-business services, discuss some of the challenges in introducing them, and provide a summary and some key conclusions.
In this chapter, we will use the acronyms 3G, UMTS, and 3G/UMTS interchangeably. These denote the new class of 3G mobile telecommunications and m-commerce products, applications, and services that were launched in the early 2000s.