The Mobile Web
The mobile web refers to the accessibility of the Internet from a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet computer. Consumers may also access browser-based applications from the mobile web for the convenience and increased productivity of the user. In 2008, mobile access to the Internet exceeded fixed based Internet services for the first time since its inception. Multi-touch tablets and smartphones have prompted the growth of the mobile web.
Mobile Web Terminology
Consumers are migrating from 3G to 4G for better speeds. Currently, Long Term Evolution (LTE) is the fastest 4G wireless broadband technology available. The technology was developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). Verizon uses LTE to deliver mobile web access to its users at 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) or greater.
The Evolved High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) is another mobile web protocol that is used by some wireless providers. This protocol is designed to deliver 84 Mbps on downloads and 22 Mbps on uploads. Both AT&T and T-Mobile have selected this mobile protocol.
Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax) also delivers mobile web accessibility for some mobile carriers. Clearwire and Sprint have chosen WiMax for mobile web delivery.
The Main Usage of Technology
Most users access the mobile web to use applications or to locate a business online. Many people also use the mobile web for directions to a specific location. Built-in GPS chips work in conjunction with applications to help consumers navigate their way around town.
The Benefits of the Technology to Companies and Personal Users
According a 2011 report, the mobile web ranked as the “Third Most Used Platform.” Only Android and iOS managed to solicit more users. Smartphone sales exceeded PC sales for the first time in history. Global web users doubled and currently, one billion mobile users access the mobile Internet around the globe.
How Companies Benefit: Companies benefit from the technology by allowing their employees the flexibility of working from any location in the world with mobile web access. Applications are specifically designed to increase employee productivity for sales people, marketers and web developers. For example, marketers use social media to help companies increase revenue by targeting and enticing users in the vicinity of the store to purchase products through promotional deals.
How Personal Users Benefit: Social applications help users locate deals and friends. When users check into a location, the business may offer a deal to the user to encourage the user to purchase from the store. Personal users locate their friends for social events also. The mobile web expands the options of users.
The Usual Process for Adopting Mobile Web Technology
Mobile web can be obtained through the mobile provider for the smartphone or tablet computer. The most popular providers in the United States are Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Consumers may obtain an unlimited plan or a pre-set usage plan. The pre-set plans may consist of 5GB, 10 GB or 50GB of data for a pre-determined cost.
Common Issues Companies Encounter with the Mobile Web
Developers are increasing the speed of applications and mobile devices by allowing mobile browsers to have direct access to mobile accelerometers and GPS hardware. Though the mobile web has advanced significantly, the web still suffers from usability problems. The mobile phones are typically smaller than the screen size of other devices. Users are not able to view the applications easily on the small platform. Productivity slows when the screen and network speeds inhibit fast inputs into the mobile device. Even with the limitations, the mobile web increases productivity and mobility of employees.
How to Overcome These Issues
Designers are constantly working to improve the speeds of the mobile web. LTE is currently offering the fastest speeds available. The infrastructure is available, but providers are not currently offering these speeds to consumers. As the speeds improve and web pages become more efficient on mobile devices, more people will begin to use their mobile devices primarily.