MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE MANAGEMENT: KEY ISSUES AND MARKET TRENDS

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1 MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE MANAGEMENT: KEY ISSUES AND MARKET TRENDS Young B. Choi, Jason Kelske, Rakesh Patel, and Ritual Walia James Madison University, MSC 0203, Harrisonburg, Virginia , USA {choiyb kelskejv patelrm ABSTRACT The competition among mobile telecommunications carriers is getting very fierce and the issue of efficient mobile telecommunications service management is becoming a key factor to the success of satisfying diverse service subscribers requirements. In this paper, we address key issues and market trend of mobile telecommunications service management. Several key issues of mobile service management for mobile telecommunications carriers including mobility, security, and cost are discussed in depth. Past, current and future market development trends are also described and forecasted. Key Words: Mobile Telecommunications Service Management, Mobility, Security, Cost INTRODUCTION Mobile Telecommunications has had, and will continue to have, an enormous impact on society. From large corporations to small offices, and even to personal home computers, individuals capitalize on the great use and availability of mobile telecommunications. It is rare to find somebody who has no connection to the Internet, or a person who does not use a cellular phone; now, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are making their mark on mobile telecommunications as well. In our research paper we will trace this impact. We will particularly concentrate on the cellular aspect. We shall address key issues affecting mobile telecommunications, the concept of mobile service, and popular market trends of mobile service management. Furthermore, we shall discuss possible future standards and communication methods. To conclude our paper, we will take a look at the future of mobile telecommunications by discussing the market trends of mobile service management. KEY ISSUES In this section some outstanding issues of mobile telecommunications service management; mobility, security, and cost are discussed in detail. Mobility Issue Mobility has its obvious benefits to users, such as, being able to have access from any location. However, mobility also has disadvantages for the enterprises that implement them; mainly that it is a huge disruption to the enterprises network architecture. For network architectures, one factor that has been constant is it has always been linked by computers. Today, that is all changing; mobility is creating new rules and that concept is applied not only to Volume V, No 2, Issues in Information Systems

2 the computers but to the users. A user needs to be able to login from any location at anytime, but now can not only log in from a computer from any location, but from several other devices such as a cell phone. Device diversity, the ability to be logged on from different types of devices, requires a new layer in architecture for the enterprise. Also, architectures have become polluted with devices that an enterprise may be unaware of. This is all an indicator of how difficult the issue of mobility is and proves that management needs to become a major element of an enterprise s architecture. The first attempt at fixing mobility issues was to just ignore it. The second attempt was to treat mobile devices as a browser based client but it exploited the centralized web servers. It also suffered from mobile devices being unreliable to connect with the current protocol, the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), which led to its rapid fall. Finally, on the third try, mobility had a slight breakthrough with the explosion of wireless . In this instance, mobility benefited from the advantage that was an asynchronous message protocol that was perfect for mobile connectivity. Mobility requires that the user interface and session management should not be managed within the same structure as business logic and data access (transaction servers). This would unnecessarily expose the transaction servers to frequent changes as the demands of the business extend functionality to more target devices. This differentiation is reflected in four tiers of application development [4]. Table 1: Four Tiers of Application Development (adapted from [4]) Development Process Change Cycle Technology Base Systematic Five to 10 years Back-end business services Quasi-systematic 18 to 36 months Front-end services Opportunistic Three to 24 months Channel adapters Hyperopportunistic Days to weeks Multidevice presentation Enterprises can not ignore the importance of mobility and must recognize the impact it will have on their software architecture, or they will set themselves up for huge software maintenance costs. As user devices become more diverse and mobile, today s architectures will not survive and enterprises will need to create new designs that will handle the mobile boom. Security Issue With the wireless and telecommunications industry expanding, wireless security will continue to receive attention. Unfortunately, wireless security is not explicitly defined. It means many different things to different vendors and users and can be applied to applications, devices, and employee conduct. These factors have led to a heavy cloud over the wireless security market that often mismatches customer expectations and security results delivered by the vendors. Wireless and mobile security can be incorporated in many ways such as in software applications or imbedded into the network infrastructure or into the end-user device. It is this variety that has resulted in the confusion in the market about wireless security and how it should be implemented in wireless technologies. Research has been able to show that most companies or vendors see their wireless security implementations outdated and not suited to address wireless network security. They find that their policies are poorly explained or not mentioned at all. Vendors need to become Volume V, No 2, Issues in Information Systems

3 prepared to assist providers/enterprises in assessing their network security infrastructure and policies from a wireless and mobile access perspective and change it to address the emerging technologies in the wireless field. Vendors need to be prepared to commit themselves to educating the customer on end-to-end wireless security, about the most important vulnerabilities related to mobile devices and offer solutions that address issues related to data confidentiality, user authentication and protection from malicious code. They must make sure that their customers recognize the importance of including wireless/mobile when considering network security and the importance of security when considering wireless/mobile networking. Surprisingly, wireless security is not bringing unique security issues to the forefront. Ironically, wireless and mobile networking is having similar issues that existed for the mainframe, the PC, the LAN, client-server, and the Internet, which proves that enterprises need to revisit familiar security issues from the past and address them. This shows how the hype around wireless security is misplaced and puts a mask over the similarities that exist between wireless security and security issues of the past. Wireless security at the very bone is not a new phenomenon. Wireless LAN (WLAN) is a mature technology that has been available in the United States since Due to the similarities between security issues of wireless and security issues of the past, implementing a secure WLAN is more of a process and procedure issue and not a technology handicap or challenge. Unfortunately, implementing wireless security is not exactly as it was with the security issues of the past, only similar. There have been changes and an evolution of a known problem, which is now encompassing new possibilities, more complexities, more devices and more users. The greatest change is the profound and vast impact of mobile and wireless security risks on businesses; this requires that enterprises take action now. Security no longer is just about building your network with a wall around it so that nobody unauthorized can enter. Wireless and mobility demands that enterprises secure assets and data information to move out into the world outside of the security wall. New models are needed to deal with security as a distributed area and not an isolated one, but one which logically seems centralized and manageable [3]. Cost Issue Wireless and mobile services are a very costly market. There are billions of dollars spent paying for frequency licenses, however, after paying all that, wireless companies need to invest billions of dollars again into building a network infrastructure that their service will be able to run on. It may seem obvious that these debts will not be paid off for a decade or longer, which is understood by the companies that build the networks. The costs don t stop there; the phone itself has an antenna that must be placed in it, plus a transceiver, which converts the signal into a format that is compatible with the telephone network. There are also expensive mobile switching centers, which connect all the cell cites in a geographic area. In big cities, there are also extra costs such as leasing rooftop space for antennas on tall buildings [7]. The above are all administrative costs; a wireless company also has marketing costs, which is another big expense. Consumers are faced with many choices, from analog to digital, voice to Web-enabled, from handset to PDA and subscription plans that do not meet the needs of every customer [6]. Usually, service costs more for business day use then weekend use. There are also some companies that offer nationwide pricing plans, and others charge roaming fees Volume V, No 2, Issues in Information Systems

4 when users leave their service areas. With all of these different characteristics companies need to market themselves to consumers so consumers know what packages meet their needs and know what company is best for them. MARKET DEVELOPMENT TRENDS This section discusses past and current mobile telecommunications market and forecasts the future of the market. Past Trends Digital wireless and cellular phones go back to the 1940 s. As the telephone network became more established, the wireless revolution could begin, but only after low cost microprocessors and digital switching became available. It was perhaps for this reason that companies such as Bell Systems and AT&T were so hesitant to move towards wireless. Another reason was also that anything they produced had to work reliably with their current telephone network and make economic sense, which was not possible with the few customers that were permitted due to the limited frequencies that were available at the time. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) controlled frequency availability and their regulations and unresponsiveness constituted as the most significant factor that hindered radio-telephone development, especially with cellular radio, and in turn delayed that technology in America by perhaps 10 years. Mobile telephony needs frequencies, two in particular, which would make up a channel; one frequency to transmit and one to receive. The problem lied in the fact that the radio spectrum was extremely crowded, and there were few channels to go around for the number of users. Channel reuse was not an option at the time because there were not enough frequencies to go around, and in order to span a large area, the frequencies were not small enough to take advantage of channel reuse. It was always a problem to get a frequency to place your calls, and the main reason was because the FCC would not issue the frequencies out. In 1946, AT&T introduced the first American mobile radio-telephone service, which operated on six channels in the 150 MHz band with 60 khz channel spacing. Eventually, the FCC provided companies with the requested frequencies in 1968, and Bell Systems was able to implement frequency reuse with small zone frequencies. Soon thereafter in 1971, Intel introduced the first microprocessor. Now the main components were established and available (frequencies (digital switching), and microprocessors) to create a mobile telephone network. The first generation analog cellular system was created in 1978 and it was the first system that had individuals using cell phones. The system had 250 subscribers, 20 channels in the 400 MHz band, and used all Panasonic equipment. This was the beginning of the consumer market in the wireless communications boom! In the 1990 s the conversion from analog to digital occurred which helped increase the capacity for subscribers [2]. It is hard to imagine a world without cell phones because they have become such a huge aspect of daily life. It is also hard to imagine having to use the original MTS system for our mobile phones or even trying to carry the big bulky cell phones of the 1980 s. But, perhaps it is the very convenience and compactness of cell phone systems today that make them so widely used, because it seems apparent that using a cell phone in the past and having to speak to an Volume V, No 2, Issues in Information Systems

5 operator to connect you was much more of a hassle then just connecting directly. However, it does leave you with a sense of appreciation for the mobile service that we have today as compared to that of the past. Current Trends Today, wireless and mobile devices are used daily. We all see many students using them before and after class to stay in touch with friends and family and to do work and access important messages. It is also arguable that it will change business more than anything else since the advent of the Internet. For now, most wireless use is confined to cell phone calling. One major way that wireless is used today is allowing mobile workers access to corporate information and their own personal information wherever they are and not merely giving them access, but allowing them to tap directly into enterprise wide applications for services such as order taking and inventory checking. For anyone working away from the office, instant-on e- mail will ensure immediate corporate communication. In fact, this level of service already exists on a limited scale: Blackberry wireless PDAs integrate directly with Microsoft Exchange, so companies using Microsoft Outlook and Exchange for can offer employees wireless access to . Common examples of wireless equipment in use today include [1]: Cellular phones and pagers: Provide connectivity for portable and mobile applications, both personal and business. Global Positioning System (GPS): Allows drivers of cars and trucks, captains of boats and ships, and pilots of aircraft to ascertain their location anywhere on earth. Remote garage-door openers: One of the oldest wireless devices in common use by consumers; usually operates at radio frequencies. Two-way radios: This includes Amateur and Citizens Radio Service, as well as business, marine, and military communications. Wireless LANs or local area networks: Provide flexibility and reliability for business computer users. Future Trends Like every great invention before mobile devices, the invention has somewhat become a part of our lives and a necessity of every day. For example, radios and TVs started as furniture but have now moved from our living rooms and homes to our cars. Similarly the computer is no longer staying on our home libraries and desktops, and moving into mobile devices such as PDAs and cellular phones. However, unlike the radios and televisions, wireless technologies are going to become much more important. E-commerce today is booming, however, it will exponentially grow as e- commerce becomes available on cell phones. Phones will open an exponentially larger and more intensive time window for doing business when computer power, mobility, and compactness are combined into one. The advantages are that a cell phone is always available and running allowing a user to always be connected and have access. Businesses will boom, under the reasoning of psychology, which states that buying and selling is totally different when people have access all the time, which will be possible through the mobile device. Volume V, No 2, Issues in Information Systems

6 Also, the infrastructure for doing business on the phone is already well established. No other industry has the capability to bill for so many different kinds of services right down to the individual level. The closest industry to that is the Internet, which still does not come close. For example, you may have an account with Yahoo, which would know some basic information about you and your address; however, you still need to enter in your credit card number or payment method every time you make a purchase. With the cell phone, it has all this information, where you live, and your billing information, which serves as a much stronger knowledge base and quicker and more secure transaction [5]. It is hard to predict what the future holds and the possibilities are truly endless. Today, it already seems as if everybody has a cell phone and is always talking on them, and every model seems to becoming smaller and smaller. Perhaps, we will have cell phones that we place on key chains, cell phones that are as small as watches and we wear on our wrists. Regardless of how cell phones are carried, they will be a major part of daily life and a major way to use and do business and managing a mobile service will grow more complicated. CONCLUSION In this paper, we discussed mobile telecommunications service management technology, its key issues and market trends of mobile telecommunications service management approaches for satisfying diverse service subscribers requirements successfully. Some outstanding issues of mobile service management for telecommunications carriers such as mobility, security, and cost issues were discussed. Past, current and future mobile telecommunications service management market trends were analyzed. REFERENCES 1. Dunne, Danielle. (2001, December). The ABCs of Wireless Communications. CIO. Retrieved from 2. Farley, Tom. (n.d.). Digital Wireless Basics. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved from 3. Hallawell, Arabella, Girard John, Graff, Joyce, et al. (2001, June). The Price of Information Security. Gartner. Retrieved from https://gartner.jmu.edu/research/98600/98601/98601.html. 4. Hayward, Simon. (2002, July). The Impact of Mobility on Enterprise Architectures. Gartner. Retrieved from https://gartner.jmu.edu/research/108400/108415/ html. 5. Hewat, B. (1990). Future Trends in Telecommunications. Inf. Age, 12, Palazzo, Anthony. (2002).The Wireless Communications Industry. Wireless Communication Online. Retrieved from 7. Wong, Peter. (1995). Mobile Data Communications Systems. Boston: Artech House. Volume V, No 2, Issues in Information Systems

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