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									       Wireless Web Access
           A Case Study




          Mohamed Babikir
           Vijay Kannan




Web-Based Application System & Tools
            (CMPE 236)

             June, 2001
                                                                      Table of Contents
1      INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................................................................ 3

2      BENEFITS OF WIRELESS WEB ACCESS..................................................................................................................... 4
    2.1        ENTERPRISES ................................................................................................................................................................. 4
    2.2        HEALTHCARE ................................................................................................................................................................ 4
    2.3        FINANCIAL SERVICES .................................................................................................................................................... 4
    2.4        MANUFACTURING.......................................................................................................................................................... 5
    2.5        CONSUMERS................................................................................................................................................................... 5
3      TECHNOLOGIES ............................................................................................................................................................... 5
    3.1     WAP .............................................................................................................................................................................. 5
       3.1.1    Architecture ........................................................................................................................................................ 6
       3.1.2    Programming language ................................................................................................................................... 7
       3.1.3    Connection Method .......................................................................................................................................... 8
       3.1.4    Billing ................................................................................................................................................................... 8
       3.1.5    Closed Vs Open technology ........................................................................................................................... 8
       3.1.6    Security ................................................................................................................................................................ 8
       3.1.7    Mobile device display features/capabilities ............................................................................................... 8
    3.2     I-MODE .......................................................................................................................................................................... 9
       3.2.1    Architecture ........................................................................................................................................................ 9
       3.2.2    Programming language ................................................................................................................................. 10
       3.2.3    Connection Method ........................................................................................................................................ 10
       3.2.4    Billing ................................................................................................................................................................. 10
       3.2.5    Closed Vs Open technology ......................................................................................................................... 11
       3.2.6    Security .............................................................................................................................................................. 11
       3.2.7    Mobile device display features/capabilities ............................................................................................. 11
    3.3     J2ME ........................................................................................................................................................................... 12
       3.3.1    Architecture ...................................................................................................................................................... 13
       3.3.2    Programming language ................................................................................................................................. 13
       3.3.3    Connection Method ........................................................................................................................................ 14
       3.3.4    Billing ................................................................................................................................................................. 14
       3.3.5    Closed Vs Open technology ......................................................................................................................... 14
       3.3.6    Security .............................................................................................................................................................. 14
       3.3.7    Mobile device display features/capabilities ............................................................................................. 15
    3.4     WEB CLIPPING ............................................................................................................................................................ 15
       3.4.1    Architecture ...................................................................................................................................................... 15
       3.4.2    Programming language ................................................................................................................................. 15
       3.4.3    Connection Method ........................................................................................................................................ 15
       3.4.4    Billing ................................................................................................................................................................. 16
       3.4.5    Closed Vs Open technology ......................................................................................................................... 16
       3.4.6    Security .............................................................................................................................................................. 16
       3.4.7    Mobile device display features/capabilities ............................................................................................. 17
4      COMPARISON MATRIX/ TABLE ................................................................................................................................. 18

5      IMPLEMENTATION EXAMPLE................................................................................................................................... 19

6      CURRENT INDUSTRY PLAYERS ................................................................................................................................ 19

7      SUMMARY ........................................................................................................................................................................ 20

8      REFERENCES ................................................................................................................................................................... 21



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1 Introduction

The Internet has evolved to become one of the most influential and pervasive technologies in
history. The Internet and the World Wide Web are now considered to be a primary information
source for consumers and businesses worldwide. The process of accessing the information on
the World Wide Web using mobile handheld devices like Web-enabled cellular phones,
personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), handheld computers and two-way messaging systems is
called Wireless Web access.

Wireless Web access allows for increased access to central resources as people move
throughout a building and beyond providing “Anytime, Anywhere Access”

Since these handheld devices are non-traditional computing devices, it becomes a lot more
difficult to enable web access using these devices. These devices usually have a number of
physical limitations like smaller viewing screens and keyboards, limited memory and storage
and are usually designed to function as “thin clients” offering a web-based window into remote
information sources.

The other constraint is the limitation of the wireless networks. The radio networks that connect
these devices to the web compare unfavorably with landline systems in terms of airtime costs,
bandwidth, network availability and quality of service features such as latency, signal
interruption and data loss.

However, various attempts are under way to get around these limitations. Some of them are
WAP, Web Clipping, J2ME and I-Mode

This paper will discuss each of these technologies in detail and compare and contrast the trade-
offs between them. A solution architecture will be presented as an implementation example.
The paper will conclude by talking about some of the challenges in implementing wireless web
access.




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2 Benefits of Wireless web access

There are a lot of benefits to wireless web access to a lot of industries and of course the
consumer market.

2.1 Enterprises
The biggest advantage with an immediate return-on-investment is of course in the Enterprise
market. Some of the benefits include:
   Improved productivity of remote workers, who can now receive urgent dispatches, based
      on location or schedule last-minute client meetings with full access to back-office CRM
      and inventory management systems despite last minute itenary changes.
   Faster submissions of customer orders and resulting shipments back to customers
   Less dependence and burden on remote customer relationship schemes since field force
      people can access customer data and report status on orders and inventory flow.
   Increased communications and collaboration between field force and sales force
      employees, who otherwise would not be able to access centralized information and
      channel information collected in the field back to a central resource and to others working
      in the field
   An increased flow of customer and competitive information back to centralized
      knowledge resource systems, allowing for more defined strategic planning and executive
      guidance
   A decrease in human errors that may happen because of bulk submission of orders
      during daily synchronizations
   Tighter control on customer files and histories since all of these are now handheld
      instantly relayed back to central information resource


2.2 Healthcare

      Hospitals are using mobile and wireless solutions to allow doctors, nurses and other
       healthcare providers to tap into central information resources and share critical data with
       others in a highly localized network. They can also use small mobile appliances to
       access web-based information from around the world or interact with other doctors via
       the Internet
      At-home patients can use wireless handheld systems to track and input their own
       condition and medication, thereby reducing the expense of in-person consultations and
       in-patient hospital stays


2.3 Financial Services

      A number of major financial brokerages are experimenting with the use of wireless
       handheld systems that use built-in agent technology and customized software to not only



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        handle trades, but also provide personal assistance to customers who are frequent
        traders.
       These systems have built-in alerting capabilities, as well as the ability to provide
        immediate and graphic information on target companies and securities


2.4 Manufacturing

       Wireless handheld systems, some with built-in scanners, have long been used for data
        entry and collection applications, especially as a means to keep a company’s enterprise
        resource planning (ERP) system plugged into what is happening on the manufacturing or
        shop floor
       These systems can provide immediate data to a company’s inventory, billing and other
        systems. They can also tap into real-time data and link to related Internet-based E-
        systems.

2.5 Consumers
       Wireless networks offer consumers the ability to tap directly into a retailer’s supply-chain
        to compare and buy products. Traditional brick and mortar store fronts are suddenly
        transformed into virtual showrooms, where a buyer might use a scanner-equipped mobile
        system to scan the UPC symbol of a product and then compare prices on the Web to get
        the best deal.
       Location based systems will allow retailers to selectively target consumers as they move
        about and provide information based on individual preferences and needs


3 Technologies

A number of technologies are being developed to fulfill the need to provide wireless web
access. All of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the leading
technologies will be discussed in this section


3.1 WAP
       Wireless Application Protocol is a browser-based technology, which allows users to

       browse WAP, enabled web sites. It has been designed to allow wireless devices with their

       various limitations of displays and connection speeds to access Internet and Intranet

       applications. A consortium of companies founded WAP: phone.com, Morotola, Nokia, and

       Ericsson to offer licensee free standard to the entire wireless industry to be able to

       develop WAP-based applications.


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    WAP defines a Wireless Application Environment (WAE) to enable the rapid development

    of differentiated services such as WWW-to-mobile handset messaging and mobile-to-

    telefax access.



3.1.1 Architecture




                                        Figure 1- WAP Protocol Stack




      The WAP protocol stack is designed to minimize the required bandwidth and maximizes

      the number or wireless network types that can deliver WAP content. One of the key

      features of WAP is its scalable-layered architecture, which has been chosen to model the

      Open Systems Interface (OSI) famous in the widely deployed TCP/IP networks.




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     This layering network allows new physical bearers and transport protocols to be

     introduced without major changes in the other layers. WAP is designed with the

     underlying premise that each layer can be developed independently of the others. The

     WAP protocol stack is composed of several layers. The network layer provides the

     wireless bearer connection and as mentioned earlier it has been designed to

     accommodate different physical networks and bearer types such as: time division

     multiple access (TDMA), personal communications service (PCS), code division multiple

     access (CDMA), short message service (SMS), and cellular digital packet data (CDPD).

     The transport layer of the WAP protocol stack is based on the WAP datagram protocol

     WDP. It is designed to receive and send messages via any available bearer network and

     the forms a complete transparency to the physical configuration of the bearer network.

     WAP protocol stack has provisions for a security layer called the Wireless transport

     security layer (WTLS), although it is an optional layer it provides encryption services that

     enable the secure transport of services required by many applications such as e-

     commerce. The WAP session protocol (WSP) provides the session layer, which allows

     efficient exchange of data between applications. The WAP application environment

     (WAE), which enables the retrieval of WAP content requested by the mobile device,

     provides application layer services in the WAP protocol stack.

3.1.2 Programming language
      WAP uses the WAP markup language (WML) as its primary programming language.

     WML is a subset of the Extensible markup language (XML), which is being hailed by

     many industry experts as the next generation Internet language and the successor to the




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      hypertext markup language (HTML). WML has many capabilities to interface with

      dynamic content and services.

3.1.3 Connection Method
      WAP uses circuit switched network access, which requires a constant airtime and an

      always-up connection. This behavior makes WAP somewhat undesirable and inefficient

      in handling some services and capabilities such as providing full range of graphical

      content.

3.1.4 Billing
      Since WAP is a circuit-based switched network, billing for the WAP based services is

      included in the overall connection time charges incurred by the consumers. End users

      can only have access to WAP-based applications and services after they access the

      network through a constant connection to the mobile network.


3.1.5 Closed Vs Open technology
      One of the primary features of the WAP protocol is its open architecture model. It is a

      global standard not controlled by and single entity. The initial purpose of the defining the

      WAP protocol is to create an industry-wide specification for development of applications

      over wireless communication networks.

3.1.6 Security
      WAP security is accomplished through the use of the wireless transport layer security

      (WTLS), which has been specifically designed to enable the transport of secure

      transactions over a low-bandwidth environment. WTLS also provides an encryption

      model for the data and services it carries.

3.1.7 Mobile device display features/capabilities
      WAP application strategy has been designed to take most of the existing services that

      are common within a fixed line environment experienced by a desktop browser and



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      tailoring them to work a wireless network. WAP mobile devices have provisions for the

      Integration of Real Names keyword technology, which allows subscribers to type a

      keyword or its first few letters to quickly browse the web site.


3.2 I-Mode

I-mode service enables users to access a variety of information and exchange email on the
Internet through simple operations of the browser installed in mobile terminals. NTT DoCoMo
has developed and configured a PDC mobile packet communications system (PDC-P) that
efficiently exchanges information in I-mode formats, and has also newly developed the mode-
mode server to connect content sites and manage users, as well as the protocol conversion
equipment to link the mode-mode server with the PDC-P wireless system.

3.2.1 Architecture




The mode-mode server functions as a relay server between NTT DoCoMo's i-mode network
(the PDC mobile packet communications system: PDC-P system) and the Internet under i-mode


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service. This server includes three service functions: relaying site information on the i-menu (i-
mode menu) from the information provider (IP) server; handling Internet mail or i-mode mail;
and relaying access to the Internet.

The i-mode server actually consists of multiple server systems, each of which fulfills the
assigned functions to realize various services. These include the business mobile access
exchange (B-MAX) that manages the overall system; the contents mobile access exchange (C-
MAX) that relays information from the IP; the database mobile access exchange (D-MAX) that
collects and analyzes marketing information such as i-mode usage data; the M-PGW (Mobile
Packet Gateway) that relays requests from each mobile unit; the interface mobile access
exchange (I-MAX) that connects each server with the M-PGW; the mail mobile access
exchange (M-MAX) that handles email functions; the name mobile access exchange (N-MAX)
that manages email accounts; the user mobile access exchange (U-MAX) that manages
subscriber information; and the Web mobile access exchange (W-MAX) that provides menu
management for the i-menu and manages the “My Menu function for each user. These server
systems are linked to provide i-mode services as well as user authentication and charging
management when subscribers access fee-based contents.


3.2.2 Programming language

I-mode uses c-HTML (compact html) as the programming language to build its wireless web
system. C-HTML is a subset of standard HTML customized specifically for the I-mode service
and is completely based on the current HTML W3C recommendations. This means that cHTML
inherits the flexibility and portability from the standard HTML. Frames and tables, which require
large memory, are excluded from cHTML.

3.2.3 Connection Method

In order to improve communications efficiency and minimize packet communications fees, a
data transmission protocol specific to i-mode communications has been developed and is being
used under the PDC-P system. And because connections between the i-mode server and the
Internet use generic TCP/IP technology, the PDC-P network includes a mobile message packet
Gateway (M-PGW) to handle conversions between these two protocol formats. Since packet
switching technology is being used, the mobile device is always connected to the I-mode server
and can get communication speeds as high as 28.8 Kbps

3.2.4 Billing

I-mode employs packet data transmission (9600bps), so communications fees are charged by
the amount of data transmitted/received rather than the amount of time online. Here’s a sample
pricing table:




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3.2.5 Closed Vs Open technology

This is I-mode’s biggest constraint. Both the I-mode server and the c-html programming
language are proprietary technology and are not being standardized. However, NTT DoCoMo is
working on trying to incorporate I-mode features into the WAP 2.0 standard

3.2.6 Security

Since I-mode uses packet switching technology and the I-mode server uses standard TCP/IP
technology for connections to the Internet, the standard TCP/IP security protocols can be used
to provide security for Internet access.

3.2.7 Mobile device display features/capabilities

Using cHTML, web content is displayed on the I-mode phone. It can support color display of
images and animated graphics. The I-mode phone can be used for phone calls, email access
and web access. Here are some sample screen shots from an I-mode phone:




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                                         Figure 2 - Imode Email
                                         Access




                                         Figure 3 - I-mode Web
                                         Access




3.3 J2ME
   Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) is one of the categories that Sun Microsystems has

   developed as part of its new Java architecture to address the different needs of each

   specific market segments. The Java technology has been broken down into three editions:

         The Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) is targeted at the desktop and workstation

          environment.

         The Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) is targeted at the large server-based systems

         The Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) is targeted at the consumer devices with their

          various constraints such as limited memory and display.




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     Each Java 2 Edition will have its own Java virtual machine, which is optimized to

     accommodate the targeted market segment.

3.3.1 Architecture




                                   Figure 4 - JAVA 2 Platform




      J2ME is Sun Microsystems Java architecture targeted at the consumer space. It is

      designed to utilize the Kilobyte Virtual Machine (KVM), which is a highly optimized virtual

      machine to run in the consumer devices constrained by their limited memory and

      processing powers.

3.3.2 Programming language
      One of the key J2ME technology features is that it can leverage all the programming

      tools and application programming interfaces (API) of the Java programming language

      and its rich set of extensions and objects.




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      Also, applications written with J2ME technology are upwardly compatible to work with the

      J2SE and J2EE platforms.

3.3.3 Connection Method
      J2ME connections are based on the connected limited device configuration (CLDC),

      which is designed to work with devices with constrained memory and processing

      resources. With CLDC, end users download the information from the web sites while the

      connection to the wireless network is up. Unlike other technologies, J2ME does not

      require an always-on connection since the client side will run the local version of the

      virtual machine.

3.3.4 Billing
      J2ME employs the concept of Java Profiles to create specific application programming

      interfaces for each applet. Consumers can be built in two ways: either a flat based fee in

      which full access to the Internet resources is given or based on the accessibility of

      specific applications downloaded through the use of specific Java profiles.

3.3.5 Closed Vs Open technology
      Although J2ME is developed by Sun Microsystems, Sun has developed provisions called

      the Java community process (JCM) which can be initiated by any application

      development vendor without the permission of Sun. These JCMs will then call the

      different Java profiles, which provide the specific API modules.

3.3.6 Security
      J2ME can utilize the rich features of Java security. Java applications regardless of their

      implementations are restricted by the underlying Java security principle requiring all

      entrusted code be placed in a sandbox where it can run without causing any damage to

      the real program. Also, the sandbox concept prevents applets to gain control of the local

      file system or resources.



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3.3.7 Mobile device display features/capabilities
      J2ME applications will enjoy a full set of display features such as full-color and animated

      graphics, which are made possible through the principle that applications are stored on

      the handset itself, and run locally instead of accessing applications on back-end servers.


3.4 Web Clipping
     Web clipping is a wireless technology developed by Palm to run on Palm VII personal

     digital assistants (PDA)

      Devices. The customized wireless applications are written in two parts: web-based back

     end servers, which serves the dynamic content and a palm query application, which

     resides on the handheld device.

3.4.1 Architecture
     The web clipping architecture includes client-side applications that run on Palm handheld,

     proxy servers for handling translation between the web clipping application format and

     HTML, and content servers. The client-side application is called a web clipping application

     (WCA). It is constructed in HTML and translated into the web clipping application format.

     Once this application is installed on a Palm operating system platform device, content is

     delivered from the content provider's own web site as a subset of the HTML 3.2 standard.


3.4.2 Programming language
      As indicated above, the web clipping application is composed of two parts: back end

      servers which utilized regular subset of HTML technology and palm query applications

      which are written in compiled form and behaves like regular HTML client side behaviors.

3.4.3 Connection Method
      The connection method used in the Palm technology dictates that end users need to be

      connected to their wireless service to access the palm applications. Since web-clipping




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       technology is tightly coupled with the Palm architecture, it inherits the feature of requiring

       a connected palm network to access all the features of the web clipping applications.

3.4.4 Billing
      One of the key features of web clipping applications is that it keeps the cost of wireless

       transactions to a minimum. Only newly updated information is downloaded to the palm device.

3.4.5 Closed Vs Open technology
      Because of the tight coupling between palm architecture and web clipping applications,

       web clipping is considered to be a highly closed technology and the Palm Company

       controls all new developments and updates.

3.4.6 Security
      Web clipping applications provide an embedded security mechanism based on security

       class libraries called the Palm VII security libraries. However, and as the name implies

       these security libraries can only run on Palm VII devices.

       A combination of Certicom’s Elliptic Curve Cryptography technology and the standard

       Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol is used to achieve end-to-end encryption of data.

       Confidential data is encrypted on the Palm VII handheld using Certicom’s

       Security Builder product. This encryption is maintained through the data carrier network

       and the web clipping dispatch Farm.

       The web clipping proxy (WCP) server decrypts the data using Certicom’s technology and

       then encrypts it again using the high-strength, 128-bit strong RSA encryption algorithm to

       send data through SSL to the secure web site. SSL decryption takes place at the secure

       web site behind the enterprise firewall. Certicom-to-SSL conversion is performed only

       within the WCP server, as shown in the diagram below.




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3.4.7 Mobile device display features/capabilities
      Web clipping applications have a rich set of clipping services or applications that have

      been optimized to run on Palm devices. Web clipping technology inherits all the graphical

      user interfaces and full color formats enjoyed on the Palm devices. These features are

      made possible through the use of the special class libraries called Clipper libraries.




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4 Comparison Matrix/ Table

 Technology               WAP                    I-MODE                   J2ME              WEB CLIPPING
 Architecture      - Can work with any      - Currently works       - Can work with any     - Currently works on
                   underlying wireless      with NTT DoCoMo’s       underlying wireless     the PALM wireless
                   network architecture.    digital PDC wireless    network architecture.   network
                   -    Designed       to   system.                 -     Designed     to   - Two part solution:
                   minimize     required    - Designed to           operate in devices      Web-based back
                   bandwidth.               minimize required       constrained        by   end and a Palm
                   -       Multi-layered    bandwidth               limited memory and      Query Application
                   protocol stack like      - No multi-layered      processing power.       - No multi-layered
                   TCP/IP                   protocol stack like     - No multi-layered      protocol stack
                   - WAP Datagram           TCP/IP                  protocol stack          - Complicated
                   Protocol (WDP)           - PDC mobile packet      - Leverages JAVA       architecture
                   - Open standard          communication           APIs and                - NOT Open
                                            system (PDC-P)          programming tools       standard
                                            - NOT Open              - Open standard
                                            standard
 Programming         WAP Markup                  cHTML                     JAVA               HTML subset
   Language        Language (WML)
  Connection         Circuit-switched         Packet switched        Connected Limited       Circuit-switched
    Method              (Currently)            “Always-ON”          Device Configuration     NOT “Always-on”
                    NOT “Always-ON”                                       (CDLC)
                                                                     NOT “Always-ON”
    Billing           Based on time          Based on packets          Based on time           Based on time
                     connected to the           transmitted           connected to the        connected to the
                         network                                          network                 network
   Security        WTLS security layer      Proprietary method         JAVA security          Palm VII security
                   provides support for     of providing security     mechanisms like             libraries
                   encryption and other                                 sandbox etc.
                         security                                                            A combination of
                       mechanisms                                                           Certicom’s Elliptic
                                                                                            Curve Cryptography
                                                                                            technology and the
                                                                                            standard Secure
                                                                                            Socket Layer (SSL)
                                                                                            protocol is used to
                                                                                            achieve end-to-end
                                                                                            encryption of data
 Mobile device     Monochrome display          Color display           Color display            Color display
display features       No images             Images, animated        Images, animated         Images, graphics
                                                 graphics                graphics




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5 Implementation Example
For a wireless application to be successful, it must be developed from a multi-channel
perspective and not from the viewpoint of any single mobile appliance.

Also, implementing the mobile station on a platform with an XML based architecture is a critical
success factor. XML is important because it provides a standardized format and data
description that can then be transformed to meet the constraints of a wireless device. By
utilizing XML, the data and business logic can be separated from hoe it is presented.
A robust wireless solution must also include the ability to use other interfaces and formats such
as JDBC or SQL to access data sources and create XML. A sample application server
architecture is given below:




6 Current Industry Players
There are many players in the industry currently making products for wireless web access.
Here’s a list of some of the companies:
    OpenWave Systems Inc.
    Everypath, Inc.
    iConverse Inc.
    Brience
    Aether
    724 soln’s
    2roam




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7 Summary

Despite all the hype and hysteria surrounding it, wireless web access is still in its infancy. Most
of the current applications are dedicated primarily for email. More extensive applications are yet
to come.
Multiple technologies exist today each with it’s own benefits and limitations. It’s not clear yet
which technology or combination of technologies will win the battle.
A lot of concerns still exist with respect to enabling wireless web access which include:

      Development, implementation, deployment across a variety of mobile devices
      Security of wireless transactions
      Maintenance and support of mobile devices in the field
      Management from a corporate perspective
      Synchronization of PIM data with schedules etc.
      Scaling the support and training of the mobile user base
      Compatibility with existing applications
      Extensive back-office integration
      Robustness of the system to make modifications
      Measurable benefits in terms of productivity increase, revenue realized
      Support for multiple media types, data types
      Extendibility to other applications

The decision of how and when to implement wireless web access needs to be answered on a
case-to-case basis until all the above-mentioned concerns are taken care of.




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8 References
  1.  NTT DoCoMo Web Site
      http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/corporate/rd/tech_e/imod01_e.html
  2. The Challenges of a Wireless Web – Network World Fusion
      http://www.nwfusion.com/research/2000/0302feat.html
  3. Wireless Wonders – Java technology for wireless data solutions
      http://java.sun.com/features/2000/02/wireless2k.print.html
  4. Mobilizing the Enterprise resource
      http://www.everypath.com/press&events/press_kits.html
  5. WAP tutorial
      http://www.iec.org/tutorials/wap/index.html
  6. InfoWorld
      http://www.websolutionsworld.com/english/crd_wap_296629.html
  7. All Net Devices.com
      http://www.allnetdevices.com/wireless/opinions/2000/09/15/wap_and.html
  8. Palm.com
      http://oasis.palm.com/dev/kb/faq/1994.cfm
  9. IEEE
      www.ieee.org
  10. WAP Forum
      http://www.wapforum.org/
  11. Openwave Systems Inc.
      http://openwave.com/




                                          Wireless Web Access
                                      A Case Study, Date: 09/27/11
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