P.W. Lei, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
C.R. Chatwin, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
R.C.D. Young, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
S.H. T ng, Instituto Superior de Ci ncias do Trabalho e da Empresa, Portugal
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Electronic commerce (e-commerce) activity is growing exponentially, and it is revolutionizing the way that businesses are run. There is now an explosion of mobile wireless services accessible via mobile phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). Mobile e-commerce (m-commerce) makes business mobility a reality. Mobile users can access the Internet at any time, from anywhere (even from their shirt pockets/purses) using ubiquitous inexpensive computing. It is estimated that the m-commerce market was worth US$3.5 billion in 2000 and will grow to over US$200 billion by 2005 (Abbott, 2002). M-commerce is generally considered to be an extension of e-commerce. In fact, m-commerce has unique characteristics and functionality. Hence, it creates a unique and new business opportunity. Tesco, the United Kingdom-based supermarket, rolled out their mobile service, but the U.S. bank, Wells Fargo, is planning to close down their mobile service later this year due to lack of interest. M-commerce has a number of inherent complexities, as it embraces many emerging technologies: mobile wireless systems, mobile handheld devices, software, wireless protocols, and security. These technologies have rapid product cycles and quick obsolescence. In this chapter, we will examine the opportunities and limitations of m-commerce and concentrate our discussion on mobile phone systems.