"Making the Internet Mobile for Everybody"
Egbert-Jan Sol, MS, PhD
Ericsson Telecommunicatie BV
Imagine - Internet anywhere, anytime - walking to the railway station, arriving at an unknown airport, stuck in a unexpected traffic jam, on holiday, or during a boring lecture. The next Internet terminals will be mobile phones, or whatever we will call those battery powered, portable, thin clients.
The first generation "classic" Internet with IP-v.4, has been made perfect for data. The second generation Internet adds real-time capabilities for video and voice applications. The third generation Internet, 3G Internet, will make the Internet mobile. This anywhere Internet will be as successful in 2005 as mobile voice is today. The 3G Internet will take some time. It will require the integration and public rollout of suitable backbones, radio-interfaces, services, and great terminals. Most visible today is the current introduction of packet switching in GSM with GPRS and the auction of radio spectra for 3G radio (UMTS). These bearer services are just the IP part of the World Wide Web. The real challenges are the 3G services.
As important, but also less well understood, is the development of services such as HTML and WAP. First, imagine all wired applications to be wireless, and then add all kinds of new applications impossible with wires attached: money, cars, etc. Keep in mind the restrictions to portable terminals: they are often battery powered, have small screens, and are restricted in processing power (thin clients) and bandwidth. WAP, wireless application protocol, is tuned for these restrictions. GPRS and WAP are still the beginning.
Ultimately you will want to take your "home environment" with you over the boundaries of different networks and terminals. In this context, the creation of the World Wide Web as an almost media independent environment might be seen later as one of the most successful developments in the '90 towards a "Virtual Home Environment" for the '00.