5.2 THE INTERNET AND WEB 2.0

The Internet is a universally accessible network of information, people and machines and it does represent a significant part of the future of mobile services.

We should understand the essence of the Web. We should also understand and appreciate its impact on computing. This is because the Web will undoubtedly figure strongly in facilitating interesting and significant mobile services. Firstly, the Web protocols are prevalent and easy to integrate with, so it is relatively simple to build mobile services using a web-centric model. However, probably more significant is the way in which the Web offers a huge amount of networking power. That is its appeal to mobile service developers, or should be. Many observers are coming to similar conclusions that the ‘killer attribute’ for mobile services is something to do with ‘anytime networking’, not the consumption of licensed content, which was a strong assumption at one point. Of course, content is important, but we have to face facts that most of it on the Internet is free. Moreover, we have seen a tremendous gravitation towards the user's own content, which really has always been at the heart of the Internet.

It seems certain that the ‘walled garden’ model will fail, should operators wish to pursue it. There is nothing inherently wrong or ‘evil’ about walled gardens and they are applicable at various points in the development of new services. However, protection of a service can only work whilst it is possible ...

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