M- Commerce System Approach Model

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTCONV2IS04001

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M- Commerce System Approach Model

Prof.Reeta Shaktivel Prof.Deepika Chaddha KCCEMSR, ICT Technology

Thane, India Abudabi

Abstract – The emergence of wireless and mobile networks has made possible the introduction of electronic commerce to a new application and research subject: mobile commerce. Understanding or constructing a mobile commerce system is an arduous task because the system involves a wide variety of disciplines and technologies. To facilitate understanding and constructing such a system, this article divides a mobile commerce system into six components: (i) mobile commerce applications, (ii) mobile stations, (iii) mobile middleware, (iv) wireless networks, (v) wired networks, and (vi) host computers. Elements in components related to mobile commerce are described in detail and lists of technologies for component construction are also given.

  1. Mobile Commerce

    Mobile Commerce refers to wireless electronic commerce used for conducting commerce or business through a handy device like cellular phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDAs). It is also said that it is the next generation wireless e-commerce that needs no wire and plug-in devices. Mobile commerce is usually called as 'm-Commerce' in which user can do any sort of transaction including buying and selling of the goods, asking any services, transferring the ownership or rights, transacting and transferring the money by accessing wireless internet service on the mobile handset itself.

    The next generation of commerce would most probably be mobile commerce or m-commerce. Presuming its wide potential reach all major mobile handset manufacturing companies are making WAP enabled smart phones and providing the maximum wireless internet and web facilities covering personal, official and commerce requirement to pave the way of m-commerce that would later be very fruitful for them.

  2. Advantage of m-Commerce

    M-commerce has several major advantages over its fixed counterparts because of its specific inbuilt characteristics such as ubiquity, personalization, flexibility, and distribution, mobile commerce promises exceptional business market potential, greater efficiency and higher fruitfulness. Thus it is not surprising that mobile commerce is emerging much faster than its fixed counterpart. M-commerce is more personalized than e- commerce and thus needs a gentle approach to appraise m- commerce applications.

  3. Areas / Uses of m-commerce

    sectors, M-Commerce is not only being widely accepted but also it is being more used as a popular way of business/ commerce.

  4. Finance Sectors

    Mobile Commerce works vastly in finance sector including all big and major financial institutes, banks, stock market and share brokers. Whenever any user needs money or wants any sort of banking and finance related services, he/she can access the services or register services via voice calling or via Short Message Services (SMS) services. WAP based mobile handsets allow the user to access the official website of the institute.User can transact money or transfer money, or pay the bill from its bank account using mobile commerce facilities. Banks also provide round the clock customer care services, which can be used any time through voice calling. Some customer care services are also provides non-voice services on mobile that is known as insta-alert facility.While in the stock market, the user can access the stock market quotes and get in live touch with current trading status on its mobile in two forms either voice (customer assistance) or non-voice (sms alerts) or both.

    The share broker sends market trends and tips of trading on their clients' mobile. Also broker can suggest the appropriate stock for intra-day trading to their users.

  5. Telecommunication Sectors

    Mobile has played a giant role in communication technology through its versatility and superiority. The ubiquity and easy usage has further made it extremely popular across the globe. It has already surpassed the fixed phone in the world. Software platform is essential for operating any mobile and this tool has revolutionized the communication world because of its functioning as a small computer.The booming popularity has forced the corporate world to develop a new commerce platform that can reach to masses. Mobile commerce has attracted massive traffic because of its unique characteristics. The user can change the service of any financial institute or banks if gets better product and service or user is unsatisfied with the service of the subscribing company. Besides this several bills can be paid using mobile and user can also check the available balance, the status of cheques, the status of requested processing and customer care support.

    Several dealings can be handled through mobile phones.

    In the current commerce industry, mobile commerce or M- Commerce has been entered in finance, services, retails, tele- communication and information technology services. In these

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    Service and Retail sectors are also among the leading sectors, which have nurtured most from mobile commerce. M-Commerce has proved a major boon for these sectors. Several business dealings no matter how big or small are being finalized on the mobile phone. Customer would be able to book the order, can hire carrier/courier services and above all could also pay the dues related to it through mobile.


    After the bursting of dotcom bubble, e-commerce has gone downwards to hell. But the evolution of mobile commerce has again worked as ambrosia for them. A separate sector has been evolved to exercise on this field for the IT experts. The webmasters have skilfully exploited this new area of IT-enabled commerce.In the IT field, mobile commerce has been used massively to deliver financial news, stock updates, sports figures and traffic updates and many more onto a single handheld device 'mobile'.


      Despite of huge popularity of mobile commerce, it is yet in the initial stage and can be further expand in to all the fields, which affect the human life. The assumption of mobile commerce is not so young as it mushroomed so early from adopting this technology. It initially begins with the use of wireless POS (Point Of Sale) swipe terminals and has since then made its way into cellular phones and PDA's (Personal Digital Assistants). The first enabling m-commerce technologies were presented through Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and i-mode mobile Internet service. WAP builds on digital phone technology and first emerged on 2.5 G phone technology that allowed users to browse the Internet. This technology cemented the way of m- commerce, which has strongly developed on 3G-phone technology. Nokia has first introduced m-commerce application software Nokia toolkit version 4.0. The future of m-Commerce seems extremely bright because several experiments are going on to introduce the upgraded version of mobile likely to emerged with the evolution of 4G mobile technology.

      An electronic commerce system is an interdisciplinary subject and there are many different ways to implement it. Figure 1 shows the structure of a traditional electronic commerce system and a typical example of such a system. The system structure includes four components:

      1. Electronic commerce applications: Electronic commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services and the transfer of funds through digital communications.

      2. Client computers: Desktop computers are used by electronic commerce, whereas wireless handheld devices are used by mobile commerce.

      3. Wired networks: This is the main difference between

        electronic commerce and mobile commerce, which must also include wireless networks.

      4. Host computers: A user request, e.g., database accesses or updating, is actually processed at a host computer, which consists of three major parts: (i) Web servers, (ii) database servers, and (iii) application programs and support software. These will be examined in more detail later.

      Compared to an electronic commerce system, a mobile commerce system is much more complicated because components related to mobile computing have to be included. Figure 2 shows the structure of a mobile commerce system, which consists of six components: (i) mobile commerce applications, (ii) mobile stations, (iii) mobile middleware, (iv) wireless networks, (v) wired networks, and (vi) host computers, and an example of such a system that is currently possible based on existing technology. In mobile commerce systems, the network infrastructure consists of wired and wireless networks. The wired networks component has the same structure and implementation as in an electronic commerce system. We thus devote our effort to the part of wireless networks in this paper. All components other than the wired networks and lists of the technologies needed for the component construction will be examined in the coming sections.

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      Users Users

      MC applications

      User interface

      Mobile stations

      Mobile handheld devices


      Mobile middlew are

      Wireless networks

      Wireless LAN

      Wired networks Wired LAN/WAN

      Host computers Host computers

      Web servers

      MC application programs

      Database servers


      Databases association

      bidirectional data/control flow

      optional component

      An MC System Structure An Implemention

      Figure 1. A mobile commerce system structure


      The applications of electronic commerce are already widespread; mobile commerce applications not only cover these but also include new ones. For example,

      some tasks that are not feasible for electronic commerce, such as mobile inventory tracking and dispatching, are possible for mobile commerce. Table 1 lists some of the major mobile commerce applications [4].

      Mobile Category

      Major Applications



      Mobile transactions and




      Mobile classrooms and


      Schools and

      training centers


      resource planning

      Resource management

      All companies






      Health care

      Patient record


      Hospitals and

      nursing homes

      Inventory tracking and


      Product tracking and dispatching

      Delivery services and



      A global positioning, directions, and traffic


      Transportation and auto


      Travel and


      Travel management

      Travel industry

      and ticket sales

      Table 1. Major mobile commerce applications

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There are numerous mobile stations available in the market today. Table 2 lists some major mobile station specifications, although several table entries may not be complete as some of the information is classified as confidential due to business considerations.

joined forces with Ericsson, Nokia, and Motorola to form a new joint venture called Symbian [12], with the aim of establishing EPOC as the de facto operating system for mobile stations.


    Vendor &







    The term middleware refers to the software layer between the operating system and the distributed applications that interact via the networks. It translates requests from mobile stations to a host computer and adapts content from the host to the mobile station [11].


    According to an article in Eurotechnology.com [3], 60% of the worlds wireless Internet users were using i-mode, 39% were using WAP, and 1% were using Palm middleware. Table 3 compares i-mode and WAP and details of the middleware follow.

    Compaq iPAQ H3870

    MS Pocket PC 2002

    206 MHz Intel StrongARM

    32-bit RISC

    64 MB/32 MB

    Nokia 9290




    32-bit ARM9


    16 MB/8


    Palm i705

    Palm OS 4.1

    33 MHz


    Dragonball VZ

    8 MB/4 MB

    SONY Clie PEG-NR70V

    Palm OS 4.1

    66 MHz

    Motorola Dragonball

    Super VZ

    16 MB/8 MB

    Toshiba E740

    MS Pocket

    PC 2002

    400 MHz Intel


    64 MB/32




    Table 2. Some major mobile stations


    Although a wide range of mobile stations are available in the market, the operating systems, the core of mobile stations, are dominated by just three major brands: Palm

    OS, Pocket PC, and Symbian OS.


    WAP Forum

    NTT DoCoMo


    A protocol

    A complete mobile

    Internet service

    Host Language

    WML (Wireless

    Markup Language)

    CHTML (Compact




    WAP Gateway

    TCP/IP modifications

    Key Features

    Widely adopted and


    Highest number of

    users and easy to use

    Palm OS.The plain vanilla design of the Palm OS [9]has resulted in a long battery life, approximately twice that of its rivals. Palm was slower to add color features than its competitors because of their reluctance to lose its advantages of battery life, size, and weight. Palm OS 5, which runs an ARM processor (TI OMAP1510), has a high-resolution (320×320) color screen, 16 MB of memory, built in voice recorder, directional pad, built-in Bluetooth, and media playback capability (MP3/OGG/ WAV), complete with speaker and headphone jack.

    Pocket PC. In 1996, Microsoft launched WindowsCE, a version of the Microsoft Windows operating system that is being used in a variety of embedded products from mobile stations to specialized industrial controller and consumer electronic devices. However, it was not well received primarily because of battery-hungry hardware and limitations in the operating system. To solve these problems, Microsoft introduces Pocket PC [10], which offers far more computing power than Windows CE.

    Symbian OS.EPOC16 from Psion Software is a 16-bit version of the operating system that has been available for several years and is embedded in many mobile stations; EPOC32 is a 32-bit open operatng system that supports preemptive multitasking. In mid-1998, Psion

    Table 3. Two major kinds of mobile middleware

    WAP (Wireless Application Protocol).WAP is anopen, global specification that allows mobile users with wireless devices to easily access and interact with information and services instantly [14]. It is a very flexible standard including most wireless networks, which include CDPD, CDMA, GSM, PDC, PHS, TDMA, FLEX, ReFLEX, iDEN,

    TETRA, DECT, DataTAC, Mobitex, and GRPS. It is supported by most operating systems and was specifically engineered for mobile stations include Palm OS, EPOC, Windows CE, FLEXOS, OS/9, and JavaOS. The most important technology applied by WAP is probably the WAP Gateway, which is mainly responsible for interfaces between the Internet and the network. It functions as followsrequests from mobile stations are sent as a URL through the network to the WAP Gateway; responses are sent from the Web server to the WAP Gateway in HTML and are then translated in WML and sent to the mobile stations.

    i-mode. i-mode [5] is the full-color, always-on, andpacket- switched Internet service for cellular phones offered by NTT DoCoMo. With i-mode, cellular phone users get easy access to more than 60,000 Internet sites, as



    augmented by wireless networks that support mobility for end users.

    Well as specialized services such as e-mail, online shopping and banking, ticket reservations, and restaurant advice. In spring 2001, DoCoMo introduced its next- generation mobile system, based on wideband CDMA (W-CDMA), which can support speeds of 384Kbps or faster, allowing users to download video images and other bandwidth-intensive content with its high-speed packet data communications.


      In a wireless environment, IP and TCP require significant modification in order to adapt to features like mobility and radio communication.

      Mobile IP.The Mobile IP [6] defines enhancementsthat permit Internet Protocol (IP) nodes (hosts and routers) using either IPv4 or IPv6 to seamlessly roam among IP subnetworks and media types. It supports transparency above the IP layer, including the maintenance of active TCP connections and UDP port bindings. Two types of mobile-IP capable router, home agent (HA) and foreign agent (FA), are defined to assist routing when the mobile node is away from its home network. All datagrams destined for the mobile node are intercepted by HA and tunneled to FA. FA then delivers these packets to the mobile node through a care-of-address established when the mobile node is attached to FA.

      TCP for mobile networks.Transmission ControlProtocol (TCP) was designed for reliable data transport on wired networks and its parameters have been fine-tuned for such environments. As a result, when it is applied directly to mobile networks, TCP performs poorly due to factors such as error-prone wireless channels, frequent handoffs and disconnections. In order to optimize reliable data transport performance, a number of variants of TCP have been proposed for mobile networks. Yavatkar and Bhagawat

      [16] proposed an approach that splits the path between the mobile node and the fixed node into two separate sub- paths: one over the wireless links and the other over the wired links. This approach limits the TCP performance degradation in a short wireless link connection. Balakrishnanet al. [1] proposed a packet caching scheme to reduce the TCP retransmission overhead due to handoff. The scheme proposed in [2] utilizes the fast retransmission option immediately after handoff is completed and shows smooth TCP performance during handoff.


      Network infrastructure provides essential voice and data communication capability for consumers and vendors in cyberspace. Evolving from electronic commerce (EC) to mobile commerce (MC), it is necessary for a wirwedww.ijert.org network infrastructure, such as the Internet, to be


      Devices used in wireless local area network (WLAN) technologies are light-weight (easy to carry) and flexible in network configuration. Therefore, WLANs are suitable for office networks, home networks, personal area networks (PANs), and ad hoc networks. In a one-hop WLAN environment, where an access point (AP) acting as a router or switch is a part of a wired network, mobile devices connect directly to the AP through radio channels. Data packets are relayed by an AP to the other end of a network connection. If no APs are available, mobile devices can form a wireless ad hoc network among themselves and exchange data packets or perform business transactions as necessary.

      In Table 4, major WLAN technologies are compared in terms of maximum data transfer rate (channel bandwidth), typical transmission range, modulation techniques, and operational frequency bands. The various combinations of modulation schemes and frequency bands make up different standards, which result in different throughputs and coverage ranges.


      Max. Data Rate


      Typical Range (m)

      Modulation/ Frequency Band (GHz)



      5 10

      GFSK / 2.4




      50 100

      HR-DSSS / 2.4



      50 100

      OFDM / 5



      50 300

      OFDM / 5



      50 150

      OFDM / 2.4

      Table 4. Major WLAN standards

      In general, Bluetooth technology supports very limited coverage range and throughput. Thus it is only suitable for applications in personal area networks. In many parts of the world, the IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi) system is now the most popular wireless network and is used in offices, homes, and public spaces such as airports, shopping malls, and restaurants. However, many experts predict that with much higher transmission speeds, 802.11a and 802.11g will replace 802.11b in the near future.


      Originally designed for voice-only communication, cellular systems are evolving from analog to digital, and from circuit-switched to packet-switched networks, in order to accommodate mobile commerce (data)


      applications. Table 5 lists a classification of standards in the first generation (1G), second generations (2G, 2.5G), and third generation (3G) wireless cellular networks. 1G systems such as the advanced mobile phone system (AMPS) and total access control system (TACS) are becoming obsolete, and thus will not play a significant role in mobile commerce systems. The global system for mobile communications (GSM) and its enhancement general packet radio service (GPRS) have mainly been developed and deployed in Europe. GPRS can support data rates of only about 100 kbps, but its upgraded

      ('*( LVcapable of supporting 384 kbps. In the U.S., wireless

      operators use time division multiple access (TDMA) and code division multiple access (CDMA) technologies in their cellular networks.

      Table 5. Major cellular wireless networks

      Currently, most of the cellular wireless networks in the world follow 2G or 2.5G standards. There is no doubt that in the near future, 3G systems with quality-of-service (QoS) capability will dominate wireless cellular services. The two main standards of 3G are Wideband CDMA (WCDMA), proposed by Ericsson, and CDMA2000, proposed by Qualcomm. They both use direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) in a 5-MHz bandwidth. Technical differences between them include a different chip rate, frame time, spectrum used, and time synchronization mechanism. The WCDMA system can inter-network with GSM networks and was strongly supported by the European Union, which called it Universal Mobil Telecommunications System (UMTS). CDMA2000 is backward-compatible with IS-95, which is widely deployed in the U.S.


      A host computer produces and stores all the information for mobile commerce applications. Because it is the mobile commerce application programs, rather than the

      targets, browsers or microbrowsers, they serve, this component is similar to that used in an electronic commerce system. Most of the mobile commerce application programs reside in this component, except for some client-side programs such as cookies. It contains three major components: a Web server, a database server, and application programs and support software.









      Analog voice; Digital


      Circuit- switched























      Web servers.A Web server is a server-sideapplication program that runs on a host computer and manages the Web pages stored on the Web sites database. There are many Web server software applications, including public domain software from NCSA and Apache, and commercial packages from Microsoft, Netscape, and others. Since April 1996, Apache has been the most popular HTTP server on the Internet; in May 1999, it was running on 57% of all web servers. It was developed in early 1995, based on code and ideas found in the most popular HTTP server of the time, NCSA httpd 1.3. It has since evolved to rival (and probably surpass) almost any other Unix based HTTP server in terms of functionality and speed. It features highly configurable error messages, DBM-based authentication databases, and content negotiation.

      Database servers.Other than the server-sidedatabase servers, a growing trend is to provide a mobile database or an embedded database to a handheld device with a wide range of data-processing functionality. The functionality is frequently very sophisticated, and the flat file system that comes with these devices may not be able to adequately handle and manipulate data. Embedded databases have very small footprints, and must be able to run without the services of a database administrator and accommodate the low-bandwidth constraints of a wireless-handheld network. Some leading embedded-databases are Progress Software databases, Sybases Anywhere products, and Ardent Softwares DataStage [7].

      Application programs and support software. Weband database servers are mandatory for mobile commerce systems; application programs handle all server-side processing. However, to facilitate mobile commerce applications, some other support software is needed. For example, various programming languages, including Perl, Java, Visual Basic, C/C++, etc., and the CGI (Common Gateway Interface) for transferring information between a Web server and a CGI program are necessary.

    6. SUMMARY

The emerging wireless and mobile networks have extended electronic commerce to another research and application subject: mobile commerce. A mobile commerce system involves a range of disciplines and technologies. This level of complexity makes understanding and constructing a mobile commerce system an arduous task. To facilitate this process, this

host computers themselves, that are aware of the



paper divided a mobile commerce system into six components, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Mobile commerce applications: Electronic commerce applications are already broad. Mobile commerce applications not only cover the existing applications, but also include new applications, which can be performed at anytime and from anywhere by using mobile computing technology.

  2. Mobile stations: Mobile stations are limited by their small screens, limited memory, limited processing power, and low battery power, and suffer from wireless network transmission problems. Numerous mobile stations, such as PDAs or Web-enabled cellular phones, are available in the market, but most use one of three major operating systems: Palm OS, Microsoft Pocket PC, and Symbian OS. At this moment, Palm OS leads the market, however it faces a serious challenge from Pocket PC.

  3. Mobile middleware: WAP and i-mode are the two major kinds of mobile middleware. WAP is widely adopted and flexible, while i-mode has the highest number of users and is easy to use. It is difficult to predict which middleware will dominate the market in the future; it is more likely that the two will be blended somehow at some point in the future.

  4. Wireless and wired networks: Wireless LAN, MAN, and WAN are major components used to provide radio communication channels so that mobile service is possible. In the WLAN category, the Wi-Fi standard with 11 Mbps throughput dominates the current market. It is expected that standards with much higher transmission speeds, such as IEEE 802.11a and 802.11g, will replace Wi-Fi in the near future. Compared to WLANs, cellular systems can provide longer transmission distances and greater radio coverage, but suffer from the drawback of much lower bandwidth (less than 1 Mbps). In the latest trend for cellular systems, 3G standards supporting wireless multimedia and high-bandwidth services are beginning to be deployed. WCDMA and CDMA2000 are likely to dominate the market in the future.

  5. Host computers: Host computers produce and store all the information needed for mobile commerce applications, and most application programs can be found here. They include three major components:

Web servers, database servers, and application programs and support software.

Another important issue for mobile commerce is mobile security and payment. Security issues (including payment) include data reliability, integrity, confidentiality, and authentication and are usually an important part of implementation in wireless protocols/systems. Solutions

are updated frequently, due to the lack of a comprehensive


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wireless security infrastructure and standard. A unified

approach has not yet emerged.

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