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Some Thoughts on Roadmap Document (Challenges)

From: joe michiels <jmichiels@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 23:33:07 -0700
Message-ID: <456fc8ff0809132333x4493a702u13c3fa24f339c7be@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-mw4d@w3.org
As I mentioned on the last conference call, I thought I'd take a first pass
at outlining/brainstorming the Challenges section of the roadmap wiki
document. Wasn't sure if I'm the right person to "edit" the document, so
I've posted the content here, if folks agree that this is useful, I'd be
happy to add this to the wiki.

There's lots of scattered topics to work with here (by no means exhaustive),
I've tried to include some discussions from the prior workshops when
applicable, but having not been to them, well...just be gentle....Here's
some starter points for "Challenges", I hope some folks find this useful,
but I won't be offended if this isn't used/applicable.

-Joe Michiels



*Section Description*

In this section, we are identifying the challenges of either providing or
accessing content and services on mobile phones.

*Section Items*

*Standardization of Software*

·         *Hardware* continues to significantly evolve and diverge and
therefore it is unlikely that it will standardize in the near term.

·         Accessing information and communication beyond current baselines
(such as sms communication protocol) requires sophistication of handsets and
mobile applications. Examples where development is active includes mobile
web browsing applications, or more robust device applications. [more
examples?]. As *software platforms* become more sophisticated, they also
diverges into different standards, limiting wide-spread adoption/use on both
the development and end-user sides.

o        The relationship between the Web and SMS /voice applications also
may factor into the definition of application development.

§         [See W3C Workshop on the Role of Mobile technologies in fostering
Social Development <http://www.w3.org/2008/02/MS4D_WS/>, São Paulo, Brazil
June 2008, for more on this.]

·         *Platform  & application environments* have begun to mature from
integrated & proprietary solutions to flexible and open environments.

o        Generally, the most common software platforms are still "closed"
and proprietary.

o        The most open platforms are building momentum but not widespread

o        *Problems of availability of Web browser*.

§         There is no web browser on low-end phones.

§         Role of WAP browsers to be determined.

§         Cited From Sao Paulo workshop: Organizations like GSMA are not
integrating in the specification of their Emerging Market Handset the need
of having a web browser.

* *

*Regional Issues Vary*

·           The needs of *developing regions/populations may vary
depending*on the current state of infrastructure, cultural
differences, existing NGO
and private initiatives, and other factors. Choosing a "one size fits all"
strategic direction across diverse needs is difficult.

o        Examples:

§         Supporting NGOs can include data collection (mHealth), wide-area

§         Supporting populations directly can include increasing mobile
services (mBanking) and content (job postings, safety alerts).

*General Population Trends May Create Challenges around Adoption*

·         *Cultural comfort* with new mobile behaviors (sms, billing, email,

o        Lack of comfort with *mobile communication behavior
patterns*(security concerns, faceless "remote" communication)

o        Gender roles can also affect adoption/relevancy.

·         *Limited locally and culturally relevant* content in developing
regions may limit adoption of services.

o        "Some of older phones have WAP browsers, and when available, it is
used, but there is a lack of WAP content."

§         Mentioned in minutes from W3C Workshop on the Mobile Web in
Developing Countries <http://www.w3.org/2006/07/MWI-EC/cfp>, Bangalore,
India December 2006

§         Also see "The Role of Mobile Phones In Sustainable Rural Poverty
Reduction", Bhavnani, Silarszky, ...

·         *Problems of configuration* :

o        the difficulty to configure a phone to enable web browsing,
compared to the immediate accessibility of SMS is seen as a blocking point.

o        Discoverability is currently a limiting factor for new

§         Mobile devices currently have little OTA upgrades available.

§         Exceptions to this exist, but have not gained footholds in
developing regions.

·         *User Interface*: usage of mobile Web browser are still
problematic : entering URI, ...

·         *Cost* :

o        price and the unpredictability of the cost of data services,

o        availability of affordable plan types (flat-rate, pay-go,
Non-technological Challenges

[This is informed from the minutes from W3C Workshop on the Role of Mobile
technologies in fostering Social
São Paulo, Brazil June 2008].


   - *Regulation* of telecom market
   - *Licensing*
   - *Access to Infrastructure*

*Domain Specific Issues for Targeted Solutions*

   - *mBanking: *E.g. m-banking applications require specific regulatory
   context, and specific agreements.* *
   - *mHealth: *mHealth and Public Health data/communication have complex
   relationships with the treatment of Personal Health Information (PHI), local
   privacy laws, and regulatory standards (ex: HIPAA).* *
   - *Identity: *These issues listed above may be magnified by the nature of
   technology usage in rural areas where devices are shared and issues like
   privacy, security, and identity can arise. **
      - In a context of heavy use of the shared phone model (one phone used
      by many people), mobile services and applications providers have to
      particularly take this factor into account.
Received on Sunday, 14 September 2008 06:33:42 UTC

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