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Chapter 20. Mobile and Wireless Systems > Overview of Mobile and Wireless Techn...

Overview of Mobile and Wireless Technologies

As we write this book in 2002, one of the noisiest parts of the technology landscape is mobile and wireless technologies. We are bombarded with hype and with devices that claim to revolutionize the way people communicate. Such a revolution shows few signs of taking hold, however. Most mobile phone users in the United States, for example, simply use their phones for voice calls, not data services. Text-messaging systems are quite popular in many other countries of the world, but more advanced services are used only rarely. The pace of technological change in this sector has also been slowed by economic problems.

Although the focus of this book is on Internet commerce, in this chapter we will first step back and take a broader overview of wireless and mobile technologies and then look at how they relate to systems for Internet commerce. Because there are many different kinds of mobile devices with varying capabilities, it is important to have some perspective about those capabilities and how they may be used with Internet commerce systems. The hype around mobile devices is often about mobile commerce (sometimes called m-commerce) and has often focused on the use of Web-enabled mobile phones. By extension, such phones would naturally interact with Internet commerce systems.


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