Five Biggest Trends in Mobility

By  Michael Barbella — November 22, 2006

The role of the notebook computer is changing.

With handhelds offering more features now than ever before, mobile workers will use notebooks more often to create work in the field rather than access it remotely, predicts Andrew M. Seybold, president of Outlook 4Mobility and editor-in-chief of 3G Today.

"There is a new way to consider notebooks and mobility," Seybold says. "If all I'm going to do in the field is access work, I don't need it. But if I'm going to create work, I am going to need it."

Seybold cited the notebook's changing role as number one among the top five trends he's seeing in the corporate wireless world.

Also on Seybold's list is an increase in use of notebooks equipped with built-in wireless connectivity technology and faster data speeds. The notebooks also will have better access to handheld devices through Bluetooth and cable connections. The notebook "experience" will be more like a DSL/cable experience with fewer customer service calls and easier troubleshooting methods.

Another -- very welcome -- wireless trend Seybold cites is an increase in ROI, as companies begin to realize that wireless applications pay off. He said systems integrators are coming to better understand wireless technology and are therefore able to help companies deploy wireless applications. "The industry has more ROI models and facts to show new customers and increase sales," he explained.

Businesses also are starting to deploy VoIP services and experiment with VoIP wireless services within buildings. In addition, wireless network operators are moving toward a wide-area/WiFi integration of voice and data services. This integration will particularly focus on WiFi/VoIP/data services that seamlessly roam within buildings to wide-area voice and data networks.

"Voice data remains a dominant revenue market," Seybold said. "This is not about a single device for us, this is about a multiplicity of devices."

And expect those devices to utilize mobile email as that technology improves and establishes a solid foothold in the corporate environment. "Wireless technology is a complement to what we do in the wired world," Seybold said.

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