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M - Commerce

 What is M-Commerce?

Multiple Definitions
There is no precise definition for mobile commerce or mobile e-commerce. Every analyst, vendor and trade magazine appears to have a slightly different interpretation of the term. In fact, there appears to be a consensus now on the meaning of its big brother "e-commerce or e-business" which came first. Perhaps, in another six months or a year, we would come to a similar consensus on m-commerce. Meanwhile, here are a few sample definitions:

"M-Commerce is the use of mobile devices to communicate, inform transact and entertain using text and data via a connection to public and private networks." (Lehman Brothers)

"The core of mobile e-commerce is the use of a terminal (telephone, PDA, PC device, or custom terminal) and public mobile network (necessary but not sufficient) to access information and conduct transactions that result in the transfer of value in exchange for information, services or goods." (Ovum)

"Business-to-consumer transactions conducted from a mobile device." (J.P. Morgan)

"E-Commerce over mobile devices." (Robinson-Humphreys)

"Mobile Commerce refers to any transaction with monetary value that is conducted via a mobile telecommunications network." (Durlacher)

"The use of mobile handheld devices to communicate, interact via an always-on high-speed connection to the Internet." (Forrester)

"The use of wireless technologies to provide convenient personalized and location-based services to your customers, employees and partners." (Mobilocity)

MobileInfo.comís Definition
MobileInfo.com defines is closer to that of Ovum. We define m-commerce as "any electronic transaction or information interaction conducted using a mobile device and mobile networks (wireless or switched public network) that leads to transfer of real or perceived value in exchange for information, services or goods. "

Typical examples of m-commerce are:

  • Purchasing airline tickets
  • Purchasing movie tickets
  • Restaurant booking and reservation
  • Hotel booking and reservation 


(Content for M-Commerce report was developed by Laura Abbott, MobileInfo's Technology Editor)

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