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Mobile Computing's 10 Most Important Trends

"Trend gazing is a favorite pastime of industry watchers.  To keep up with these industry Joneses, MobileInfo must stick its neck out." - Chander Dhawan, Managing Editor of MobileInfo.com site

According to our crystal ball (made out of a piece of hazy glass), Mobile computing market will be characterized by the following trends (predictions made in 1999, but good for the next 3-5 years):

  1. Convergence of wireless data and computing will lead to significant innovations in pervasive computing that will give us true anywhere, anytime, any device access to information.  Intersection of the Internet, PDAs/Win CE devices, new breed of smart telephones, unified messaging and personal productivity applications lead to inevitable interaction of these personal productivity applications with enterprise applications,  This will give true meaning to mobility in the pervasive computing context.
  2. The Internet and web will play increasing role in mobile application design, development and supporting infrastructure.
  3. The big action during the next few years will be in horizontal applications, especially internet-based wireless messaging. After a long wait and many false starts, this sector of mobile computing is ready to take off.
  4. Vertical industries, such as public safety, transportation, utilities, field-service dispatch, health-care, courier, personal financial services, field data collection and cellemetry will continue to be attractive business opportunities for operational and "line of business" mobile applications.
  5. More and more turn-key vertical industry solutions will emerge from third party application houses.  These solutions will be based on software application components designed for a specific industry but capable of being customized for a specific customer - deja vu.
  6. Mobile computing solution designers will have greater choice for enduser devices with both full-function Windows 95/2000/NT devices competing against cheaper and smaller but less functional Win CE/PalmOS compatible devices for personal and simple data collection applications. Convergence of telephone and personal organizer devices will happen during 2000-2002 timeframe.
  7. Wireline network solutions will supplement the use of wide-area wireless networks for transfer of field data into corporate systems. Many of the existing public wide-area wireless networks (Motient, Bell South's RAM Mobile Data -Mobitex, CDPD, NexTel, and NPCS -narrow-band PCS) will continue to proliferate during the next five years.  Wideband PCS for data applications will take hold only with third generation wireless networks, according to our estimates after year 2004.  Justify your mobile computing applications spread in wide areas on the basis of these networks.  Pricing model for public wireless networks will be based on the Internet and paging pricing model - x dollars per month per user for up to y messages.
  8. There will be decreasing emphasis on private wireless networks, except by some very large users, such as Fedex, who may employ private CDPD networks for their exclusive use. For most of us, shared public networks is the way to go.
  9. The last mile wireless problem for fast data access (56 Kbps and above) will be solved from ubiquitous infrastructure availability perspective only in the next millennium. A number of potential technologies, such as LMDS and  wireless MAN (a la Metricom) are promising, it will take a while before this becomes a pervasive solution.
  10. Data filtering technology from internet content providers will provide urgent e-mail and business information packets to users anywhere, anytime but widespread use of the Internet for wireless browsing will stay as an uneconomic proposition for most users - partially because of the cost but also because most airport lounges are finding it cheaper to offer land-line access.  - Chander Dhawan, the Editor

 


Related Resources:
Market Outlook
Market Trends
Reports & Presentations
Market Metrics - As Reported in the Press
Interviews with Industry Executives
Mobileinfo.com's  Outlook for 2001
 

 

 
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