Mobile technology is viewed as next generation business communication technology. It refers to business communication either directly or indirectly through the mobile. Till now, mobile applications mostly focused on voice communication than on any other features. There is a general thought that mobile technologies can be applied for business and a very few changes need to be done in mobile technologies for adaptation to business processes. This research will cover the usage of mobile communication technologies in business and critical factors that may affect this transformation.
Compared to traditional e-technologies like PCs or laptops, the most important features of mobile communication technology are mobility and reach ability. Users or employees can access the data and start working on it at any time and from anywhere. It also facilitates faster communication among managers, employees and customers. This enhancement of increasing the communication efficiency can lead to increase in productivity and hence profitability for organizations.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
Mobile Communication Technologies:
The former technologies used for communication are radio, tannoy. The later technologies include the pagers, mobile phones, walkie-talkie, PDA, scanner.
The initial communication means which are used are the ‘radios'. After radios the mobile communication which is used in the past was the technology known as ‘tannoy'. Tannoy was the oldest means of communication used. This is a company which manufactures loud speakers and public address systems. This is a communication system for loud speakers. Initially it was a two way loud speaker which handles low power and later after the development of microphones came the high power handling loud speakers. These public address systems are used for announcements in vast buildings or areas. This was the means of communication in the past which was used in different business areas. This is also used even today in public places for announcements as it is developed with the dual concentric loud speaker technology in the audio sectors.
Walkie-talkie's are also used as the mode of communication. This is a radio transceiver which is used to communicate in public places, industrial use. This has the half-duplex channel and push-to-talk switch with an antenna at the top. It consists of the earpiece and the loud speaker for the user to communicate.
The next technology that emerged was the ‘pagers'. Pagers which are the means of personal communications are used to send small messages. These pagers are two types. The first type is the one way numeric pager, which is used to receive only the number of the phone. In the second type pager, number and the message also can be received and the other is that in which messages can be sent and received as well. Pagers provide quick and consistent messaging. Compared to other mobile communication technologies, pagers play an important role in communicating in the time of emergency. This communication means is quick because there is no overload in the network, unlike other communication networks. In the new improvement provides the voice paging service.
After the pagers comes the mobile phone communication. Mobile phones are used for mobile telecommunications. Mobile phones offer the communication by means of SMS, MMS, calling service, emails, access to internet, Bluetooth, camera, voice recorder, radio, GPS. In the first generation mobile phones provide the roaming facility. The second generation mobile phones are the digital mobile communications. Here the SMS and the internet access services are provided. Next are the third generation mobile phones. This is the wideband mobile communication. This offers better quality of service compared to the second generation mobile phones. The data can be downloaded quickly and easily onto the mobile phone. Communications are done easily with the mobile phones from any part of the world.
The communication means is also provided by the PDAs as well. This is a mobile device which offers the same the features and services as the mobile phones such as the messaging service, audio and video capabilities, internet access (wired and wireless connectivity), sending and receiving of data.
Another technology used in mobile communications is ‘Scanners'. Scanners are used to scan the data and the information is read, updated, modified accordingly in the main system. Datalogic scanners are used for reading barcodes of the product, and accordingly the data is updated and modified. Mobile radio scanners are used as the security device. It is a communication receiver that receives very high frequencies and is used at times of emergency services, and in business etc. These are mainly used by the police to track the vehicles. PDAs also contain the scanners incorporated in them, which are mainly used in the warehouses for reading the stock information.
Examples of Businessesthat utilizesmobile communication technologies:
Tannoy: The Tannoy loud speakers are used in the public places such as the stadiums, supermarkets, industries etc. Considering a warehouse, the tannoy speakers can be used to make announcements so that the required staff member can be called to the required place. In the case of stadiums, the high power handling capacity of the tannoy speakers ensure that all the audience in the auditorium enjoy the performance and the quality of sound.
Walkie-talkie: The walkie-talkies are used in logistics where radio communications are required. Here the employers located at different sites communicate through walkie-talkie. The communication is done and the employer responds accordingly via a walkie-talkie. In the construction sites the walkie-talkies are used to communicate among the workers situated at various locations. The police utilize the walkie-talkies to communicate and take action accordingly for the public safety. In marine communications and military organizations walkie-talkies are used for diversity of reasons as it has the encryption facility.
Pager: For emergency communications pagers are used in many business areas. Fire station co-ordinators and police use the pagers for emergency services. In such cases where mobile phone networks are not available they use pager as a supporting system. Border forces also use pagers for transmitting messages securely across a global region because interrupters cannot trace the location of the pager holder. Pagers are mainly used in the hospitals. As the people working there are not allowed to carry the mobile phones, they use the pagers to send the emergency messages. In the construction sites and the mining areas the pagers play an important role as mobile phones are opposed. The staffs here use the first type of pagers, i.e. only can send messages but couldn't receive. This is safe to use in these areas to avoid the risk of causing explosions. In the IT sector, the pagers are used to communicate as the working staff can't totally depend on current telephone systems. The engineers in the IT companies are provided with a pager to ensure transfer of information at the time of emergency. The people who are working for railways also use the pagers because at times mobile phones do not have proper network signal. Pagers are also useful for the deaf people to communicate. They can send and receive messages using a pager.
Mobile Phones: The mobiles can be effectively used in restaurant businesses. The application using Bluetooth or web technology can reduce the efforts of waiter from taking orders and transferring to kitchen. Customer has to just fill the menu depending on the mobile or PDA assigned to his table. This menu then gets updated into centric database of the restaurant. Those orders then get displayed to kitchen on the display board. Depending on the entries in central database, waiters can serve the food to respective table. Using this, restaurant owners can directly keep track on the central database and also can stock usage, wastage, etc. The application itself keeps track of particular customer frequency of visiting to the restaurants and can provide offers to him accordingly. The customer feeds the feedback to the same application which works in customer relationship management view. Using this feedback, managers can make a call for improving quality in case of any concerns.
The same concept of concentric database can be applied in supermarket but with slight modifications. Here customer can access the supermarkets site through any of the wireless devices (e.g. mobiles or PDA). Then customer can view various products and their availability in the shop and if available then its details like respective stock available, price, discounts, etc. The instant billing facility should be provided where customer can view the possible billing amount with the things to be purchased. Once placed the order, the database will get updated for respective entry. Again customer relationship management can be easier by implementing such systems.
The mobile introduction is one of the revolutionary changes in marketing field. From past few years, mobile SMS became a legitimate advertising channel. Broadcasting the SMS makes advertising of a product in front of large group of products. MMS are also useful in marketing as they can be more interesting as compared to SMS with slides or videos.
Scanners: The logistics uses the scanners for scanning the barcodes of the stock and read the data. The stock is checked whether it is correctly entered and the data in altered accordingly. Generally the PDAs and datalogic scanner are used to perform this. The member scans the barcode by using the PDA or datalogic scanner and the data is fed into the system. Even in the supermarkets the scanners are used to scan the barcodes of the product.
Mobile Communication Technologies in India:
India is the fastest growing country in the case of mobile communication technologies.
In India, the mobile communication technologies that are used in the past are the radios and tannoy loud speakers. Later the pagers are used in different business sectors. The new mobile communication technologies that are being used now are mobile phones, walkie-talkies, and scanners. In the past the tannoy loud speakers are used to call the staff members through announcements. These are mostly utilised in the business areas such as the supermarkets, industries. Later the pagers are used to communicate among the staff members. The pagers are mostly used in the medical establishments for the staff to communicate at the time of emergency.
Pagers are also used to send and receive messages in the IT companies.