Summary of the Article by Lei Pouwan and Wang Jia
Lei and Wang indicate that the mobile commerce (m-commerce) has grown and developed considerably in the recent past. This has been influenced by emergent mobile phone makers like India, China, as well as Brazil.
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People using m-commerce in China are already more than conventional bankers. Also, there is an outburst of both mobile and wireless services in Korea and Japan. In the U.S., the number of subscribers also increased tremendously in 2005 (to 207.9 million users).
Flexibility of trade is now a reality owing to mobile e-commerce. The mobile phone subscribers are able to use internet anywhere at any time using simple handheld gargets or laptops. For instance, an individual can be able to send and get e-mails and make restaurant reservations at any time.
In addition, a person can also confirm actual moments in time, explore digital maps, surf the internet, and download various songs and games. Both mobile and wireless services vary from movable communications to local area networks. The services offered by these technologies have realized numerous achievements. In this essay, m-commerce services are studied in regard to mobile phones and other emerging wireless technologies.
From the article, it is evident that E-commerce has branded various markets. This includes online public sale systems that link purchasers and vendors. Currently, it has developed into a social network where the subscribers can manipulate their demands. There are several new business models that continue to develop through the application of e-commerce.
The major features of mobile devices include mobility, cheap and more privatization. Other features also include Global positioning and voice systems. Some of the new business models that have been developed consist of micro payments, commercial services and content sharing services. In addition, there are also private entertainment services.
According to Lei and Wang, mobile phone operators remain the most preferred service providers due to their technical expertise, large customer base as well as their acquaintance with billing provisions. A micro payment service is compost of small purchases like selling and other services.
Distribution of contents involves actual time data, statements and the usage of positioning schemes for quick sharing of private information according to various places and time. Internet can hasten sharing of actual time data such as weather reports, traffic news, Forex reports and news can be shared using mobile phones and internet. Mobile e-commerce devices can successfully distribute private information according to the interests of the operator.
There are several benefits attainable from the mobile network. Besides having strong customer connection, they also have billing association with their clients. In addition, they can be able to find the actual location of the user. In this regard, they are the most trusted service providers.
Mobile phones and other wireless network devices have also turned out to be very important entertainment center. For instance an individual can download his preferred movies, music and games from the internet. Games clips can also be viewed directly online. Mobile phone services are amongst the fastest growing services.
Lei and Wang agrees that E-commerce has also had a great influence on corporate applications worldwide particularly in corporations with distant employees. Extending the available business systems for planning of resources with portable functionality will offer provide necessary data to distant employees. This reduces time and place limitations of workers and improves their ability to work as flexibly.
Challenges Faced by M-commerce
Lei and Wang note that there are several challenges facing M-commerce. These are categorized into economic, social, and technological aspects. The evolution of M-commerce is influenced by the progress and advancements in modern M-commerce applications.
Also, progression of main substructure constituents like fast wireless data networks like 3G plus mobile communication devices with multiple applications contribute immensely to improvements in the M-commerce. M-commerce has also lots of benefits as already outlined in the above summary. The major factors that drive attractiveness to the M-commerce include easy usage, accessibility and it can be used anywhere at any given time.
As evident from the article, there has been a delay in the implementation of the system by the 3G mobile network operators. For instance, the idea of free internet changed and people were forced to pay for internet services in Japan. The Mobile network operators, who are the main provider of applications, expect lots of returns creating excessively high anticipations from the services.
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Most European corporations like DeutscheTelecomand Vodafone in the UK used up billions of US dollars to obtain 3G warrants.There is gradual phasing out of 3G in Europe in the year 2004. After campaigns to reduce prices greatly, the number of operators also subsided. Thus, the mobile network operators are hesitant to develop their 3G substructure.
Lei and Wang argue that the attractiveness in 3G mobile phones has greatly reduced in most places. The ownership levels of mobile phones in Western Europe countries are at maximum, therefore the market is saturated. Again, most mobile phone operators are hesitant to the advancement of their phones. In addition, the M-commerce inclined much to image messaging requiring new costly mobile phones. However, the reaction is quite low. Lots of returns are obtained majorly from SMS messaging and voice calls.
The market for laptops is rather not the same as market for other handheld gadgets. Some corporations like Nokia manufacture handheld devices and also produces Symbian software, which is an operational system for mobile phones. These corporations have cut their links to mobile network operators. However, the operating standards are closely controlled by both companies that manufacture handheld devices and mobile network operators.
In this context, the major challenge is security. Mobile communication devices provide their operators with numerous benefits such as mobility, flexibility, as well as improved production. Unlike wired networks, the airwave is completely open to intruders in mobile networks.
Through the use of improved mobile device, an intruder is able to meddle on the signals and data networks that are related to other operators. Since mobile phones are smaller in size, they are vulnerable to theft or getting lost. Thus, there is need for private information like private key.
In addition, mobile devices have a number of essential restrictions. Advancements in technology will boost the computing ability and storage in mobile devices. Nonetheless, inadequate battery life as well as power usage will limit the probable developments of M-commerce even though 3G is extensively accessible.
The authors recognize that new and advanced technologies such as WI-FI offer very fast and steady connection. The rate of data transfer is much quicker compared to 3G. This technology can be a predicament to all other investments in M-commerce by telecom as well as content providers within the intervention of mobile network. The mobile phone builder Nokia and Cisco, wireless network creator, are already adopting this technology to make the Wi-Fi phone.
WiMax is another good technology that will help new mobile phone users to get into the industry at cheaper cost. This is a wireless connectivity system that enables two operators to have an uninterrupted communication with no routing over a central switch. Besides sending data, the operator on the other end can also act as a repeater or a router. Lastly is the Power line broadband technology. It provides fast internet connection through electrical grids. All these technologies are appropriate for mobile network operators.
Even though there are limitations of M-commerce, most modern mobile communication has tracking capabilities. This is very useful in getting the actual location of targets or other developed services. Such services include travelling directions and locations of places. However, this extra expediency also has got its shortcoming particularly with regard to its being invasive in nature. Tracking tools invades into the privacy of an individual obstructing his capability to move easily.
In conclusion, M-communication has several benefits that have attracted many subscribers. There are also its shortcomings discussed in the summary. However, these shortcomings can be solved with technological advancements and development of standards.
Critique of the Article
Critically, the article provides credible information in regard to how the lives of individuals have been influenced positively by mobile phone infrastructures.
Nonetheless, some of its provisions can be subjected to criticism. Currently mobile phone communications is applied everywhere from businesses to government institutions and private entertainments. Arguably, the applications are not only limited to elementary calls rather; different products and services are provided. In all the applications, M-commerce has become very vital.
Nevertheless, the major barrier in using e-commerce is users’ fear of deceit. Successful application of M-commerce calls for some trust as well as good relation amongst the people using the networks. Wrong and confidential information can be obtained from the networks with multiple users.
This is not mentioned in the essay summary. Another weakness that is rightly pointed at is loss or stealing of the mobile communication devices. Thus security is very important for proper distribution of M-commerce services. To ensure security, a payment validation is required to confirm that only the official user is making the contract. Also, systems that employ wireless payment methods are important. These will not only help to boost the trust of the users but will also increase the number of subscribers using M-commerce applications.
Critically, there are technologies that mobile phone operators can implement to help in the validation of payments that are not discussed in the summary. First is the use of SIM, which is subscriber Identification Module. In this module, validation as well as communication functionality are both incorporated in a single chip.
Second is the dual slot. Here, the validation purpose is built in a detachable card that is distinct from the mobile phone device. Communication between the card and the mobile phone is facilitated by either an interior or peripheral card reader.
As rightly discussed in the summary, there are business standards that have been established. These include Wireless Identity Module and WAP. In addition, there is also wireless transport layer security (WTLS) and many others. Specifically, with respect to validation of users, several security firms have now improved their advancement exertions in wireless security solutions.
Some of these solutions include public key infrastructure (PKI) and digital licenses. Others include security software, technology that employs smart cards and digital signatures.Smart card technologies let the network managers to rightly ascertain operators positively and authorize an operator’s right to use internet and his or her privileges.