Companies face an exciting and potentially profitable period of swift development and experimentation following the explosion in the number of mobile devices, analyst Nick Jones told the Gartner Symposium recently.
Gartner predicts that there will be one billion mobile phone users by 2003, with two-thirds of Europeans carrying such devices by 2004. Jones said anything between $10bn and more than $1tn of trade will pass through the mobile device sector each year by 2005.
"There will be an extremely high rate of technical change. If you can't get value in six months, you may have to throw the device out. Look for fast returns," he said.
But Jones warned users not to try to move everything they do on the web onto mobile devices. "We will not see mass Wapification," he said, referring to the wireless application protocol standard. At present, commercial deals will not be arranged through a Wap phone, because of security fears.
Nad Nadeson, marketing director at Wap developer Peramon, believes wireless transmissions are more secure than wired transmissions. "If you want end-to-end security, the system needs to have its own Wap gateway within the intranet behind the firewall," he said, explaining that there are two levels of checks with Wap: class one encryption and class two authentication.
He added that class one is enough in itself, but having class two as well is even better. "A lot of telephones on the market do not have class one security, let alone class two as well," he said.
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