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Businesses applications will drive the market for the wireless Web while the consumer market struggles through its formative years.

This is the conclusion of analyst firm Insight Research which concludes that hopes are misplaced that consumers will kickstart wireless Internet use.

Extensive wireless Web browsing and mobile commerce is not viable for consumers - given current limitations on content, presentation, and delivery, Insight says in its report (Wireless Portals and Wireless Service Providers 2001-2006).

Speed, quality of service, and reliability issues are less of a barrier to the development of applications that pull information from corporate intranets, Insight argues optimistically. In particular, it notes widespread adoption of sales force automation, customer care, warehouse management, and shipment tracking applications tailored to mobile use.

With the adoption of 3G, voice recognition, and Bluetooth, wireless Web use will become prevalent in the enterprise, even as consumer uptake fails to match up to early hype, Insight argues.

Confidence - or lack of - in m-commerce does not help either in consumer takeup. This is impeded by the absence of coherent security standards and expertise by mobile operators, according to analyst firm TekPlus.

Concerns about e-commerce security will be reflected in the wireless Web market unless mobile operators invest more in security and become more open about the issues they face, TekPlus argues.

According to Gareth Williams, research director of TekPlus, mobile operators and application developers need to think about implementing end-to-end security, rather than misdirecting efforts into "closed, proprietary" solutions.

The industry needs to focus on developing security solutions for 3G and not WAP as well as promoting standardisation in the mobile security market, he advises.

Without the right security infrastructure in place 3G will become little more than a "fat pipe" that does little or nothing to promote m-commerce, TekPlus warns. ®

External links

Wireless Portals and Wireless Service Providers 2001-2006 by Insight Research
Lack of coherent wireless security standards and expertise is a problem for market development, says Tekplus

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