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Web services is one of the top 10 strategic technologies poised to mature in the next 18 to 36 months, according to Carl Claunch, vice president and director of research at Gartner. Although noting that Web services has been "heavily hyped," Claunch observed that Web services can give leading-edge enterprises the ability to reuse existing code and smooth application integration. Although Web services is not yet completely mature, enterprises should not hold off on Web services-based projects, he said. "Uncertainty lies in the upper layers" with issues such as establishing trust and identity protection, said Claunch. "But the advantages far outweigh the risks. Companies should make use of Web services to develop new applications, put wrappers around existing applications, and reuse existing functionality," he said. "The basic technologies of Web services, SOAP, XML, W... (more)


Welcome, America! by Tom Dibble Welcome to the inaugural issue of what in our humble opinion will become North America's compulsory reading on what wireless is all about and what it's becoming before you guys and gals overtake us! Through the technological ages, the U.S. has always held the whip hand over Europe. That has now changed in one industry: wireless. For the first time in a while, Europeans have a massive head start on a number of different fronts. These range from carrier network technology standardization and WAP handset penetration to cultural acceptance. But it's not been an easy ride. Europe has been struggling for months now in a battle to win the consumer over to buying new WAP handsets and making them confident that WAP is actually worthwhile. Which in turn raises the question of just who gave WAP a bad name. It's clear and true that WAP isn't exac... (more)

Who Owns a User's Location?

As location-based wireless Internet services become more advanced, so does end-user security and privacy technology. The notion that an application or business can "track" a mobile user is creating major privacy concerns. The wireless Web, labeled by many as "The First Big Market Opportunity of the 21st Century," has driven developers and businesses to "mobilize" their services, implementing new ideas for the delivery of content to wireless devices and generating additional revenues. However, today's wireless Web applications are simple ports of utility-based Internet applications (e-mail, headlines, and skinny stock quotes) that do not leverage the differentiating factor between one mobile user and another - location. Neither do these applications capitalize on what wired networks will never possess - mobility. Rendered possible by the convergence of technologies, in... (more)

Can Last Minute Offers Trigger Impulse Buys?

Welcome to WBT's inaugural "M-Campaign Watch" column where we'll look at a variety of marketing schemes - some in the U.S., some abroad, some successful, some not - but all bound to give you your own ideas. Before I start talking about one of the latest innovative mobile marketing campaigns, let me just say I'm on the low end of the wireless technology adoption curve from a consumer perspective. I really can't see myself buying something on a phone, much less anyone else going through the hassle. But then again, when the standard Internet first emerged, I resisted and said the same sort of thing. And now I've made a career writing about it. Granted, wireless technology today doesn't exactly encourage mobile commerce, at least in the U.S., but with a compelling reason and an easy order process, that could change. That's what, an online cosmetics retailer ... (more)

Wireless is Alive and Well in…Southern California

Just as northern California drew the greatest technical talent in the semiconductor industry to Silicon Valley, southern California has become a hotbed for the telecommunications industry in San Diego. This mecca for engineers, software developers, and technical managers has also become the unofficial headquarters for the venture capital industry. Now that the hype has died down, it's time to look at the next phase of wireless ideas being generated there. Fortunately for us, we're living in an era where technological progress can be measured in "Internet Time" - the somewhat cloudy concept that innovation, profitability, return on investment, supply chain, market creation, customer acquisition, and most every element of business can and will move forward at a lightning-fast pace due to the increasing connectedness of it all. We as observers and participants are free... (more)

EuroWireless, 3G Rules Have Changed

3G Rules Have Changed We've all heard the promises that 3G will deliver a plethora of full-motion, audiovisual streaming applications and services. But at what cost? Operators will have to charge for these - over and above anything delivered so far - then convince you that they'll be worth paying for. Exaggerated subsidization of handsets could well be a thing of the past. Packaging, Packaging, Packaging Recently in the UK we had the BT Wireless launch of GPRS (very quietly, I might add. See WBT's interview with WBT's Mike Short.) We've also heard of the pitfalls facing European 3G testing. Score GSM 1 - UMTS 0. The key to a successful 3G proposition is clear - packaging, packaging, packaging. We are bound to see, although unlikely from the outset, an entire mix of the following types of services obtainable: e-mail, unified messaging, a/v broadcasts, voice mapping, ... (more)

Driven to Distraction

We've all seen it - the driver in rush-hour traffic reading the paper, a parent turning toward the backseat looking after a young child, a driver and passenger engaged in a heated discussion and, of course, the people who talk animatedly on their cell phones, oblivious to the world. The consequences of such driver distraction are frequently catastrophic. A recent study by the U.S.-based National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) placed cell-phone use fourth on the list of causes of motor vehicle accidents after drunk driving, aggressive driving, and speeding. And it's only going to get worse as more and more devices make their way into the car. According to the international IT forecasting firm, IDC, as many as 70% of cell-phone calls are made from cars - frequently by businesspeople trying to take advantage of dead time as they move from home to office ... (more)

A Look at the Past…An Eye to the Future

The inexorable link between business and technology has been propelled to a new level in recent years. With the development of the Internet and the resulting boom of Web-based businesses, technology has made information more important and more accessible. In the past decade, businesses have made previously unimaginable claims: to run on Internet time at Internet speed, and to bring the world together via the language of technology. As the pace of business accelerates, customers expect and insist on high-quality, quick-turnaround service. As a result, businesses need to operate more efficiently, streamline internal processes, equip employees to meet more challenges, and deliver superior service. Furthermore, the prevalence of technology has made it more difficult than ever to maintain a competitive edge. Thus, the demand has grown for a technology to make this possi... (more)

The Wireless Internet Industry: Serving the Information Superhighway

The newest type of road rage is one that doesn't involve cars. It's the aggravating World Wide Wait now moving onto the wireless devices of road warriors traveling the information superhighway. Within three years, about 1.3-billion people worldwide are expected to access the Internet via wireless technology. Wireless carriers must deliver faster download times to ensure a healthy future. To date, developments in wireless technology and related infrastructure have been inconsistent and problematic, leaving gaps in the road that allow for people to go flat on the idea of a satisfying wireless Internet ride. Mobile Web surfers are plagued by painfully slow Web browsing speeds that are anywhere from 9.6-19.2Kbps. Wireless carriers face the challenge of delivering a desktop-quality Web-browsing experience along with faster delivery of rich content (that's getting riche... (more)

Look Out Nokia, Here Comes Microsoft!

(March 19, 2002)--Where does the wireless truth lie? Anyone trying to decide that in March 2002 had access to a rich variety of data--from the CeBIT technology fair in Hannover, Germany, to the CTIA's latest annual gig in Orlando, Florida--not forgetting everything in between, such as Merrill Lynch's global communications investor conference in New York and the Embedded Systems Conference in San Francisco. What pointers did these major events offer? Hannover was all about handsets, not surprisingly because Europe has mostly resolved the network issues that still beleaguer North America. In New York the mood was more sober: U.S. wireless carriers continue to face financial pressures (not for nothing did Merrill Lynch call the conference "Looking for Light: Darkest before Dawn?") and experts from carriers and wireless equipment companies alike see 2002 in terms of c... (more)

As Microsoft Goes Mobile... Will Innovation Follow?

"Empowering people through great software ­ anytime, anyplace, and on any device" is Microsoft's vision. Literally. Long accused of using its dominant position in the desktop software market to repel innovative competitors, some are wary of Microsoft's ventures in the mobile industry ­ perhaps suggesting that the company's true vision is to be "everywhere on every device." To the contrary, Microsoft's newest mobility platforms are going to kick-start a new era of risk-taking and innovation among product design partners, customers, and competitors. Surprised? Inspiration. Innovation. They're just words. Words that probably have a literal translation in every language ever written or spoken. In the business world they represent the roots of technological progress. While you may be unable, by force of will alone, to create an environment where inspiration commonly occu... (more)