The gargantuan financial holes in telco budgets and general depression about the dotcom crash have obscured the continuing progress of mobile working.
Wireless Lan security problems, and the predictably disappointing start to the 3G 'revolution', have grabbed the headlines. But they are only a small part of the overall move towards an increasingly mobile world.
Already more than half of us are involved in some form of remote working, and that is set to rise to 80 per cent over the next two years.
Wi-Fi has entered the popular consciousness, promising a low-cost way to access the office while at the airport or the coffee shop.
It may be a shooting star technology that will be forgotten in five years' time, but the hype reflects a clear demand for mobile working.
Mobility, of course, has always been one of the key promises of IT. But the notion of a mobile office, where employees use wireless technologies to access back-office systems, is now more attainable than ever.
The agreement of wireless standards has been a huge step forward. But the key has been an understanding of the value it can bring.
There are three important elements to deploying wireless in the enterprise. First is the choice of device - PDA, laptop, smartphone, etc.
Second is the choice of network design. This could be Bluetooth at the very short-range end, or up to wide-area cellular carriers.
Third is security. Authentication is an absolutely critical issue. It is at the very heart of mobility and the stable door must be bolted while the horse is firmly inside.
These are all solvable problems, but there are still major technical and cultural obstacles ahead as this Computing Special Report shows.
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