At the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona this week, businesses will gain an insight into emerging mobile and wireless technologies, including high-speed wireless web access on notebooks and handsets that work over both wireless and wired networks.
Suppliers will also showcase new mobile business applications at the event.
Nick McQuire, European senior analyst for wireless and mobile at Yankee Group, said, "We will see more application development in customer relationship management and field services for mobilising fleet and sales staff."
McQuire said the next wave in wireless applications would be business-specific applications and enterprise resource planning applications to unlock corporate data and push it out to the field.
An emerging technology that should help workers on the move access business applications and information at high speeds is HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access).
Also known as 3.5G, HSDPA technology offers data transmission speeds of between 8mbps and 10mbps. This is similar to speeds experienced on Ethernet local area networks.
At 3GSM, NEC and NTT DoCoMo will be demonstrating prototypes of HSDPA mobile handsets due for release this summer.
Mike Welch, an analyst at Canalys, said HSDPA cards for notebooks could be a major breakthrough for businesses. "This gives you speed for the first time equivalent to mobile broadband," he said.
However, Welch warned that high tariffs could present a barrier to the adoption of 3G and technologies such as HSDPA, unless operators address the issue.
"The question is what are you paying for the connection? If you are doing it over 3G, you will still be paying for the data usage. For a business it is the unpredictability of it - your bill might change month to month and you cannot control it."
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