Mobile Commerce

Mobile Commerce

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1800-8.ch008
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Learning Objectives

After completing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Understand various mobile commerce applications;

  • Describe location commerce and different location-based services;

  • Explain pervasive computing and its impacts on mobile commerce;

  • Discuss radio frequency identification technologies and its uses for mobile commerce;

  • Explain mobile marketing.


The Growth Of Mobile Communications

Mobile communication is a rapidly growing, international phenomenon. Mobile communications have become so widespread around the world that they are now virtually ubiquitous. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimated that the number of mobile subscriptions would top 6 billion consumers worldwide by 2011, equivalent to 87 percent of the world population (2011). It is a huge increase from 5.4 billion in 2010 and 4.7 billion mobile subscriptions in 2009. According to the 2011 Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s 3rd quarter Report, the Chinese mobile phone market currently ranks number one in size worldwide with more than 920 million cell phone subscribers.

Mobile communications take the form of audio-only messages (e.g., voice formats, such as the call itself or the use of voice messaging), visual-only messages (e.g., most commonly in the form of text messages, or short message service: SMS), or combined audio-visual modalities. SMS has become an essential part of mobile communications, as it is more economical to send a text message rather than make a phone call. In the US, the average number of text messages sent per month began to outpace the number of voice calls placed per month in late 2007, and the gap continues to grow. With the emergence of third and fourth generation of mobile phone technology (3G and 4G), it is now possible to send full video messages via multimedia message services (MMS). Use of this technology is currently on the rise as the capability of mobile handsets, the technological sophistication of consumers, and network speed continue to improve.

After reading this chapter, you will be able to answer the following:

  • 1.

    How is mobile phone technology applied to mobile commerce?

  • 2.

    What are different types of location-based services?

  • 3.

    How can mobile phone technology help retailers improve their marketing?


Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. (2012). 3rd quarter report, 2011. Retrieved on March 8, 2012 from

ITU. (2012). ICT facts and figures. Retrieved on March 8, 2012 from

Nasco, S. A. (2010). Mobile communications / mobile marketing. In I. Lee (Ed.), Encyclopedia of e-business development and management in the global economy, (pp. 784-790). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

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