Magazine article Management Services

M-Commerce Made Simple

Magazine article Management Services

M-Commerce Made Simple

Article excerpt

When it comes to technology, where kids lead - adults follow. The big question currently is, can phone companies convince `cool dude' teenagers that WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is trendy? Sceptics may be reserved about mobile commerce, and a large part of the population probably still doesn't know what it is. But if you want to know the facts - ask a teenager. They follow this technology like an addiction. Today, teenagers can use WAP phones to access some internet services and carry out transactions. The facilities are currently limited but they are getting better everyday and the under 16's cannot wait.

So, what do you need to know? For starters, don't call it the mobile internet. This only raises people's expectations to a level which cannot be matched. The big m-commerce success story that everyone in Europe and the US hopes to emulate is I-Mode, a device that every hip and trendy teenager in Japan has to have. I-Mode is big in Japan, largely because it is cheap, fast and offers access to about 600 official sites and thousands of unofficial sites. Users can send e-mails, transfer funds between bank accounts, book plane tickets, see what is on at the cinema, find the nearest hotel or restaurant, play interactive games, check their horoscope and download melodies which they can play on their phone, as if it were a digital walkman.

But will it be big here? Of course it will. Kids in the West want to lead the kids in the East, not follow them. We need to learn the lessons of the Japanese success and provide low cost high-speed mobile phone calls, to make WAP phone calls fast and friendly. Everything else is ready and waiting to be used. More and more sites will be WAP enabled as soon as the bandwidth is sorted out. Here, everyone is still waiting for the "killer application", which will convince the buying public that they need to have an internet-enabled phone. …

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