วันจันทร์ที่ 19 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2552

ATTRIBUTES AND DRIVERS OF MOBILE COMPUTING

Generally speaking, many of the EC applications described in Chapter 6 can be done in m-commerce. For example, e-shopping, e-banking, and e-stock trading are gaining popularity in wireless B2C. Auctioning is just beginning to take place on cell phones, and wireless collaborative commerce in B2B is emerging. However, there are several new applications that are possible only in the mobile environment. To understand why this is so, first let’s examine the major attributes of mobile computing and m-commerce.
Specific Attributes of Mobile Computing and M-Commerce. Mobile computing has two major characteristics that differentiate it from other forms of computing: mobility and broad reach.
Mobility. Mobile computing and m-commerce are based on the fact that users carry a mobile device anywhere they go. Mobility implies portability. Therefore, users can initiate a real-time contact with other systems from wherever they happen to be if they can connect to a wireless network.
Broad Reach. In mobile computing, people can be reached at any time. Of course, users can block certain hours or certain messages, but when users carry an open mobile device, they can be reached instantly.
These two characteristics break the barriers of geography and time. They create the following five value-added attributes that the development of m-commerce: ubiquity, convenience, instant connectivity, personalization, and localization of products and services.



Drivers of mobile computing and M-Commerce. In addition to the value-added attributes just discussed, the development of mobile computing and m-commerce is driven by the following factors.
Widespread Availability of Mobile Devices. According to Romow.com (2008), 50 percent of the world population will use mobile phones in 2008. It is estimated that within a few years, about 70 percent of cell phones will have Internet access (“smart-phones”). Thus, a potential mass market is available for conducting discovery, communication, collaboration, (e.g.,see “Global Mobile,” a special report, Computer World, May 14,2007), and m-commerce. Cell phones are spreading quickly even in developing countries.
No Need for a PC. Today’s PDAs and some cell phones have as much processing power as personal computers did just a few years ago, and possess the range of software available to PC users. This suggests that the smart phone-not the PC-may soon become the foremost tool that connects people to the Internet.
The Handset Culture. Another driver of m-commerce is the widespread use of cell phones, which is a social phenomenon, especially among the 15-to-25-year-old age group. These users will constitute a major force of online buyers once they begin to make and spend larger amounts of money. The use of SMS has been spreading like wildfire in several European and Asian countries. In the Philippines, for example SMS is a national phenomenon, especially in the youth market. As another example, Japanese send many more messages though mobile phones than do Americans, who prefer the desktop or laptop for e-mail.
Declining Prices and Increased Functionalities. The price of wireless devices is declining, and the per-minute pricing of mobile services declined by 50 percent in recent years. At the same time, functionalities are increasing. Also, a flat fee (e.g., monthly) encourages more use of mobile devices.
Improvement of Bandwidth. To properly conduct m-commerce, it is necessary to have sufficient bandwidth for transmitting text; however, bandwidth is also required for voice, video, and multimedia. The 3G (third-generation) and 3.5G technologies (described in Chapter 4) provide the necessary band width.
The Centrino Chip. A major boost to mobile computing was provided in 2003 by Intel with its Centrino chip. This chip, which became a standard feature in most laptops by 2005, includes three important capabilities: (1) a connection device to a wireless local area network; (2) low usage of electricity, enabling users to do more work on a single batter charge; and (3) a high level of security. The Centrino (Centrino 2 in 2008) is making mobile computing the common computing environment.
Availability of Internet Access in Automobiles. The number of cars equipped with high-speed Internet access (e.g., see autonetmobile.com and nvtl.com) has increased and will continue to grow.
Networks. A driving development of mobile computing is the introduction of the third- and fourth-generation wireless environments known as 3G and 4G, and the adoption of Wi-Fi as a wireless local area network (LAN), WiMax, and wide area networks. They were described in Chapter 4.

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