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Mobile Commerce Regulatory Frameworks under Digital Convergence

Jari Veijalainen
University of Potsdam, Germany

Mobile Commerce can be seen as a special case of E-commerce. conducted using portable wireless terminals. The terminal base ranges from laptops to smallest mobile phones and further wireless gadgets. The wireless terminal base uses a certain wireless spectrum portion that is regionally regulated by authorities and the ways of usage standardized by industry consortia (e.g. 3G standards) or government. The end-to-end protocols are regulated by de facto standardization bodies (TCP/IP by IETF). The higher layer protocols are standardized by industry consortia but not by authorities. The digital contents and services that are the actual object of trading in M-commerce are again regulated by regionally valid legislation, including E-commerce legislation, privacy protection, and regulations concerning harmful and criminal contents. All these are factors that make the M-commerce market fragmented. A further reason is that mobile commerce happens from machine to a human user. That is, the information at the user interface of the device and the contents must be understandable in a natural language. This imposes a further fragmentation upon the M-commerce market and makes offering Location-Based Services (LBS) problematic for visitors. Digital convergence is just about to take a new step when mobile-TV is being introduced into mobile terminals. The TV-contents has again its own regulation that is different from the above regulations. This causes tensions within and between the regulatory bodies. The new portable terminals can also produce huge amounts digital contents including pictures and videos. Should these be regulated in TV or M-commerce framework, if they become object of commercial activity? The central conclusion is that authority regulation needs to be re-organized. But how?

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Reference:Veijalainen, J. (2006). "Mobile Commerce Regulatory Frameworks under Digital Convergence," Proceedings > Proceedings of Helsinki Mobility Roundtable . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 6(55). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/6-55
Keywords:M-commerce regulation, Regulatory Frameworks, Mobile-TV
Item Type:Article - Volume 6 Article 55 (2006)
Email: Jari Veijalainen (j.veijalainen@hpi.uni-potsdam.de)

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