US wireless network providers have clubbed together to establish an electronic commerce infrastructure that will enable mobile professionals to conduct financial transactions from cellular phones.
Pacific Bell Mobile Services is at the centre of a consortium of companies developing an e-commerce application that will operate over its broadband PCS (personal communications services) network. Field trials for the application, which requires a smartcard in a PCS phone, are scheduled to begin later this year.
Mike Caldwell, a manager at UK-based network provider, said: ?There are a lot of people developing applications which will run off the back of short message service (SMS) technology. Our service providers will be looking at everything that is coming along.? (SMS enables users to send and receive text messages directly from cellular handsets via a dedicated messaging channel.)
He said this week that the Vodafone network had launched a new short message service which will allow users to send faxes from their mobile phones. ?It is the first service of its kind in the world. All a user needs to do is punch in 9741 before the fax number and then they can type in name of sender, receiver and a short message,? said Caldwell.
E-cash applications, such as the one being deployed by Pacific Bell, will enable enhanced customer services - for example users will be able to book and pay for flights or cinema tickets using digital cash over a mobile phone.
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