Electronic Commerce on the Move
This paper will address some of the business factors and technical developments that are driving electronic commerce in mobile telecommunications. The trend towards mass-market penetration coupled with increased processing power in the handset are evolving mobile networks into one of the primary e-commerce platforms in Europe.
The author will introduce two European pilot programs where the mobile handset-instead of a dedicated PC-is the vehicle for digital transactions. One program known as Smart Access is a service model that uses electronic cash, while a second model in Finland employs intelligent network technology to allow the user to 'Dial-a-Coke' from a vending machine and settle the transaction on their monthly telephone bill.
The next section will introduce an aspect of third generation mobile systems known as the Virtual Home Environment (VHE). The VHE is widely considered to be that part of the network architecture where mobile electronic commerce applications or services could reside. The last section will conclude with a comment about mobile electronic commerce.