As the book is devoted to a very diverse range of topics written by a large number of professionals and academics, it is necessary for the editor to provide a bird's eye view of the contents of the chapters.
Section I deals with Global Mobile Commerce—Unique Characteristics, Opportunities, Challenges and Limitations and it consists of four chapters.
Chapter 1, Global Heterogeneity in the Emerging M-Commerce Landscape, by Nikhilesh Dholakia, Ruby Roy Dholakia, Mark Lehrer, and Nir Kshetri, provides a framework, derived from macrodata and selected case studies, for understanding cross-national and cross-regional variations in the evolution of m-commerce applications. This chapter also (a) provides background on the rapid diffusion of mobile technology; (b) examines the global diffusion pattern of mobile phones and m-commerce technology; (c) identifies a variety of economic, social, and technological factors impacting the diffusion patterns of mobile technology and m-commerce; and finally, (d) develops a simple typology for tracking future developments in m-commerce.
In Chapter 2, Assessing the Market Potential of Network-Enabled 3G M-Business Services, Mats Samuelsson and Nikhilesh Dholakia argue that the key differentiators of m-business are made up of a set of the Experience and Function parameters that set mobile offerings (m-offerings) apart from e-business. The authors not only present a constellation of m-business service offerings that could take advantage of new network-enabled services, but they also suggest an approach to add value and differentiate m-service offerings so that businesses can continue to remain profitable. Using an evaluative framework that they developed, the authors offer a comparative assessment of the profiled m-business services and general guidelines for assessing new m-business services.
Chapter 3 by Mahesh S. Raisinghani on Mobile E-Commerce and the Wireless Worldwide Web: Strategic Perspectives on the Internet's Emerging Model, provides an overall description of m-commerce and examines its current, state-of-the-art opportunities and challenges and future trends. The authors of this chapter argue that there are many new opportunities that have only begun to be explored, but like other capital ventures, these new opportunities have their drawbacks that may limit growth of the m-commerce market if not dealt with. The requirements for operating m-commerce and the numerous ways to provide wireless business are explained.
In Chapter 4, Opportunities and Limitations in M-Commerce, P.W. Lei, C.R. Chatwin, R.C.D. Young, and S.H. T ng examine the opportunities and limitations in m-commerce and concentrate their discussion on mobile phone systems. The authors argue that m-commerce has its own unique characteristics and functionality, so it creates unique and new business opportunities, but with limitations.
Section II discusses issues regarding Mobile Business Network and Consumers and comprises three chapters.
In Chapter 5, Understanding Emergent M-Commerce Services by Using Business Network Analysis: The Case of Finland, Tommi Pelkonen and Nikhilesh Dholakia discuss complex networks of business relationships, comprising telecommunications service providers, mobile device makers, financial linkage providers, and various third-party value-adding companies. Developed in this chapter is a framework from illustrative analyses of the Finnish situation, and then general guidance is given for the formation and sustenance of effective business networks for m-commerce players worldwide.
Provided in Chapter 6, Understanding the Mobile Consumer, by Constantinos Coursaris, Khaled Hassanein, and Milena Head, is an analysis of the emerging global m-commerce market from a consumer's perspective. Presented in this chapter is a consumer-centric m-commerce model outlining the various wireless interaction modes of the m-consumer and discussing the needs and concerns of the m-consumer. Also presented is an m-commerce value network outlining the roles of the different players within this industry and various business applications developed to address the needs of the m-consumer. Finally, a global m-commerce market overview is provided, and some future trends are outlined.
In Chapter 7, Intelligent Product Brokering and User Preference Tracking, by Sheng-Uei Guan, Chon Seng Ngoo, and Fangming Zhu, a design for an evolutionary ontology-based product-brokering agent is proposed, one potential application in the area of m-commerce. In most current systems, user-supplied keywords are normally used to generate a profile for the user. The proposed solution uses an evaluation function to represent the user's preference instead of the usual keyword-based profile. By using genetic algorithms, the agent tries to track the user's preferences for a particular product by tuning some parameters inside. The authors implemented a prototype in Java, and the results obtained from their experiments look promising.
Section III is concerned with Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing Infrastructure Considerations and is composed of three chapters.
Presented in Chapter 8, Directions in Wireless Telecommunications: Analytical and Operational Pathfinders, contributed by John H. Nugent, are high-level analytical and operational tools and models that assist the wireless telecommunications professional in understanding the telecommunications market's characteristics, life cycles, trends, directions, limits, and drivers. Tools are also presented that provide important and timely insight for gaining competitive advantage based upon early detection of critical inflection points.
In Chapter 9, Wireless Middleware, by Ken MacGregor, Nico de Wet, Bonnie Lam, and Nadim Yazdani, wireless middleware is introduced as a means of writing distributed applications for mobile environments. Introduced are the concepts of middleware and the additional challenges that arise from wireless communications, in particular, low bandwidth and unreliability. Then described are the commercial wireless products currently available, with particular emphasis on the manner in which they solve the challenges. Finally, introduced in this chapter is the basis for most wireless middleware products—the Java Messaging System (JMS)—and by means of an example, shown is how the JMS can be used to implement a wireless application.
In Chapter 10, Usability Issues and Limitations of Mobile Devices, by Suliman Al-Hawamdeh, usability issues and limitations of mobile devices, like limited memory, limited processing power, different technologies and standards, small keyboards, and small screens, are reviewed. Based on findings of a usability study carried out in Singapore, the author suggests that while mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular with the younger generation, users still prefer to use desktops for e-commerce transactions, mainly because of the limitations of mobile devices and the stability and security of wireless networks.