Gartner foresees m-trade explosion



Antony Adshead

The number of mobile connections to the Internet will top one billion worldwide by 2003, according to forecasts from...



Antony Adshead

The number of mobile connections to the Internet will top one billion worldwide by 2003, according to forecasts from GartnerGroup.

The analyst group predicts that 65% of the European population will be enabled for wireless data transmission by this time, a penetration which the group says will exceed that of fixed Internet connections by two to four times.

The group says to expect a "near revolution" in European business with wireless devices as the key enabler.

It predicts that the global value of consumer transactions conducted by mobile device will be up to $1.8 trillion by 2005, assuming a permissive environment which includes usable applications and devices, non-restrictive laws, low access costs, consumer trust and ubiquitous standards.

However, the high rate of change will also have a detrimental impact for companies intending to cash in on the growth of mobile commerce.

Major challenges in mobile commerce

  • The high rate of technical evolution will see devices becoming obsolete quickly. New business opportunities may arise rapidly, leaving existing models behind

  • Legal and ethical tensions will spiral as cellular subscriber location capability increasingly pries into people's lives. GartnerGroup predicts the number of regulations will multiply fourfold by 2004

  • Security could be more of a headache than at present as technologies such as Wap and Bluetooth offer new vulnerabilities to hackers, not to mention the physical insecurity of small devices such as mobile phones

  • Marketing will present extreme challenges to organisations because mobile users will favour applications that are geared to maximum personal convenience, where a dissatisfied user is only a click away from the competitor.

  • Read more on Data centre hardware

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