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Two public sector bodies have joined the Mobile Data Association (MDA) in commissioning a study on how local government can use mobile technology.

Project Nomad, the former national project now owned by Cambridgeshire CC, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are backing the research.

The first phase is a research programme which will individually contact 19,000 senior officers in councils across the UK to learn how they perceive the issues around mobile technology. It will lead to a report, scheduled for release in January 2007, identifying how mobile and flexible working technologies can support the Transformational Government agenda and produce efficiencies. It will also outline the perceived barriers to implementing the change.

The final phase will involve the creation of a model invitation to tender (ITT) or blueprint to help other public sector departments roll out mobile technology effectively. This should be complete by the autumn of 2007.

The MDA said this is the first study of its kind that will look exhaustively at the potential for mobilising local government services. Project Nomad's earlier research has focused on the benefits achieved by government departments that have already adopted mobile strategies.

Ed Williams, director of public sector mobile technology for the MDA, said: "Mobile technology has rapidly become a success story in the commercial sector, with businesses of all sizes adopting mobile strategies, but the level of implementation in the public sector seems to have hit a wall in recent years. Our focus is to examine the reasons behind the slower adoption, to apply some of the learning from the commercial sector and establish an effective framework for mobile technology adoption."

The MDA is a technology neutral trade association that claims all of the mobile network operators and a number of content providers, aggregators and mobile data solution providers as members.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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