Research and practices in electronic business (e-business) have witnessed an exponential growth in the last few years (Liautand & Hammond, 2001). Wireless technology has also evolved from simple analog products designed for business use to emerging radioactive, signal-based wireless communications (Shafi, 2001). The tremendous potential of mobile computing and e-business has created a new concept of mobile e-business or e-business over wireless devices (m-business).
Wireless Technologies To Enable M-Business
Many wireless technologies exist to enables m-business services (Tsalgatidou, Veijalainen, Markkula, Katasonov & Hadjiefthymiades, 2003). All technologies try to achieve benefits such as being powerful, simple, economical, and secure. Some examples of these techniques follow.
Wireless Application Protocol technology links wireless devices to the Internet by optimizing Internet information so it can be displayed on the small screen of a portable device.1 Web pages accessed by WAP-enabled mobile portals during m-business transactions must be written in WML.2 It is not sure how well WAP will be able to proliferate (Tsalgatidou et al., 2000). Developments such as third-generation (3G) mobile communications and XYPOINT WebWirelessNow applications (Wen, 2001) already allow mobile phone consumers to experience the Web services without WAP.
Wireless Internet connecting technologies that offer textual interface such as WAP significantly suffer from the constraints of wireless communication such as having a small display screen. An alternative solution is providing voice access to users. Advances in speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies have made voice-based communication possible between computers and users over the phone.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Electronic business (e-business): Any type of business transaction or interaction in which the participants operate or transact business or conduct their trade electronically.
Mobile Electronic Business (M-Business): A range of online business activities, business-to-business and business-to-consumer, for products and services through wireless devices such as mobile phones with display screens, personal digital assistance (PDA), two-way pagers, and low-end or reduced-size laptops.
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP): An approach to link wireless devices to the Internet by optimizing Internet information so it can be displayed on the small screen of a portable device.