may be a networking equipment provider such as CISCO. The
middleware/gateway provider may be a wireless middleware ven-
dor such as Brience. The content aggregator may be a wireless ven-
dor such as InfoSpace. The application provider may be a wireless
application service provider such as JP Mobile. Finally, the device
manufacturer may be a handset manufacturer such as Ericsson.
In this example, the enterprise customer might access a WAP-
enabled Internet site via InfoSpace, his or her e-mail on Microsoft
Exchange (enabled for wireless access by JP Mobile), and an enterprise
application on the intranet via wireless middleware from Brience.
The major components of the value chain include the networking
components (both the networks themselves and the operators of those
networks), the communications software components (including
infrastructure software such as wireless middleware and gateways),
content and application services, and the end user devices.
If we add the physical location component to the equation, that is
to say the physical point of access to the applications and services, the
value chain changes. This category could be included within the appli-
cation provider section of the value chain or perhaps within a new cat-
egory labeled access provider.
Players within this application provider or access provider cate-
gory could be the physical access providers, such as airlines and
hotels, together with the located-based services companies who pro-
vide the location information for end users, target destinations, or
assets that need to be tracked.
Value Chain for Consumer Wireless Data
Figure 2–8 shows a simplified mobile business value chain for the
The main difference between the consumer-focused value chain for
M-Business when compared to the enterprise-focused value chain is
that the consumer value chain focuses more on external retailers and
Chapter 2 • The M-Business Evolution >> 55
Figure 2–8 M-Business Value Chain for the Consumer.
content providers. It has less to do with the internal wireless middle-
ware and enterprise applications that characterize the enterprise space.
The value chain becomes more complex as network operators
work with any array of retailers, financial institutions, content
providers, and advertisers to assemble their wireless data portals for
the consumer population.
Key Wireless Companies
Some of the key players who are shaping the mobile economy include
the device manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, wireless carriers,
wireless service providers, telematics providers, and wireless software
companies. Table 2–3 shows a sample listing of some of these players.
Since the market is moving so quickly and smaller players often
merge, are acquired, or go out of business, this table simply shows
some of the current players in the space at the time of this writing. It
is certainly not to be considered an exhaustive list.
Publicly-Traded Wireless Vendors
Companies in the wireless sector have enjoyed the same roller-coaster
ride in terms of their stock price as the rest of the technology indus-
try. Some of the major players are worth studying. By doing so, we
may better understand the market dynamics and the interdependen-
cies that the various players have on one another in the value chain.
A downturn in economic outlook for the wireless carriers has a
ripple effect for the telecom equipment manufacturers and the hand-
set manufacturers. This filters down along all aspects of the value
chain. The drivers of the market can be considered the telecommuni-
cations providers—both wireline and wireless. The telecom equip-
ment manufacturers follow after them, with the software companies
focused on carrier-specific wireless applications and the wireless appli-
cation service providers close behind.
M-Business magazine’s M-Business 50 Stock Index presents a
good sampling of the major players within the mobile economy. It
tracks 50 public companies, ranging from the global telecom giants to
mobile startups. Table 2–4 presents an alphabetical listing of these
players together with their respective stock symbols.
56 >> Business Agility
Table 2–3 Key Wireless Companies in the Wireless Internet Value Chain
>> AT&T Wireless
>> Cingular Wireless
>> Qwest Wireless
>> Sprint PCS
>> NTT DoCoMo
>> BT Genie
>> Virgin Mobile
>> KT FreeTel
>> LG Telecom
>> China Mobile
>> China Unicom
>> 724 Solutions
>> Cyneta Networks
>> JP Mobile
Table 2–3 (continued)
>> JP Mobile
>> American Tower
>> Nortel Networks
>> ATX Technologies
>> 724 Solutions
>> More Magic
>> Antenna Software
>> Envoy Worldwide