London September 21, 2001 Industry expert John Pozoglou, show director of Mobile Commerce World Europe 2001, warns that the business community has not yet understood the true capabilities of GPRS (2.5G) networks.
"Many businesses have not woken up to the fact that 2.5G provides more than sufficient network capacity and scope for a raft of wireless applications to take effect within the organization. There is absolutely no point in businesses waiting around for 3G to become a reality when cost savings and return on investment can be achieved now. Take for example the legal sector; forward-thinking businesses there are already using wireless e-mail and messaging services to give constant access to clients and they're building tighter and more profitable relationships as a result.
"The worst thing is that there's a widespread misunderstanding of what 2.5 and 3G networks can achieve," he continues. "If you are a company with large inventories, work force and geographic scope then 2.5G applications can provide you with competitive advantage. 3G was portrayed as the ultimate enabler of multimedia streaming and content based revenue generation. This was in many ways a false premise. Operators bought 3G licenses for two main reasons: firstly to provide them with more capacity for growing voice traffic and secondly to increase the subscriber base by entering new markets. Business leaders with their fingers on the pulse won't wait around. They recognize the importance of first mover advantage.
"The evidence is quite clear," adds Pozoglou, "and visitors to Mobile Commerce World Europe can see and hear for themselves either from the industry leaders in session at the conference or on the exhibition floor. It will be very obvious to them that 2.5G offers just as much as 3G will and that GPRS needs to be harnessed for business advantage. Just one example, of the very many that this event boasts, proves the point; Blackberry, from Research in Motion, which has taken the U.S. by storm, shows the power of 2.5G a hand-held device delivering always-on business information.