Since the beginning of the 21st century mobile phone usage has had a big growth. Together with developed techniques from the Internet conditions for a new market emerged – mobile Internet. Europe, North America and Japan took the lead in this development.
Europe and North America developed Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) whilst a Japanese company, NTT DoCoMo, developed their own standard – i-mode – which is dominating the Japanese market today. WAP on the other hand was not a success at all and the usage is still low today in Sweden, even though almost all mobile phones support WAP.
The purpose of this study is to, from a user perspective, explain why the WAP usage is so low in Sweden and also explain how i-mode became such a success on the Japanese market. In the thesis we will research mobile phone users needs regarding mobile Internet, and if those needs can be applied to i-mode functionality.
We will also compare WAP and i-mode marketing. The result will then explain why the majority of Swedish mobile phone owners do not use WAP. We started out with a literature study, which became the base of our chosen method; a survey. Thus to discover the chosen populations’ needs, demands and degree of usage of mobile Internet. A result was created from the survey data and theories.
• People in Sweden tend to use Internet at home instead.
• WAP usage today is expensive and has slow bandwidth.
• The knowledge about WAP is poor among the Swedish population.
• There is no need for mobile Internet in Sweden according to our research.
The low mobile Internet usage can mainly be explained with that people in Sweden rather use Internet at home. We are convinced that this is not the main reason though, since this result emerged because of WAPs faults and weaknesses.
The majority of these demands can not be satisfied by an i-mode implementation. That is why we do not see i-mode as an alternative to WAP in Sweden. Although if i-mode could use another approach in their marketing they may succeed – like a stand-alone system with unique functions. Using this approach instead of marketing the service as a light version of the Internet, as we see today in WAP.
Source: Jönköping University
Author: Johansson, Robert | Bäck, Mikael | Forsman, Robert