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IP10 - Terminodes, Wireless E-business Models and Scenario Planning

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Scope of the Project
The objectives of this project are (a) to assess the wireless technology and its commercial usage, (b) to describe emergent business models in wireless e-commerce, for the different actors: established businesses and start-ups, (c) to implement a scenario strategic planning approach and design dynamic simulation models for assessing the wireless e-commerce.
A first description of the project is available (PDF)
Work carried out and most significant results

The research in the first years is based on the hypothesis that it seems premature to analyze per se the business impacts of ad hoc networks and Terminodes technology (wireless, large scale, auto-organized, and infrastructure-less systems). This research aims at designing a framework to observe the evolution of the m-business and the role of new technology such as ad hoc networks, from traditional operator-driven infrastructure (GSM/UMTS), to independently operated systems (WLAN/WiFi), to auto-organized networks (ad hoc).

The objective of the research is twofold. On one hand, this research project plans to keep the picture of the m-business landscape up-to-date. If the study is transversal and regularly actualized, this research should confirm or invalidate the classical hypothesis that “wireless operators are best placed to assume the role of kingmaker because they control the wireless network and own the subscriber relationship”. If the trends towards self-organized networks, such as WLANs, Bluetooth technology, and other ad hoc networks is confirmed in the future, this could bring interesting changes in the inter-relationships and the power balance between the different players. On the other hand, the analysis of actor network dependencies is a prerequisite for a more ambitious scenario-based forecasting approach that could be helpful in the so uncertain context of m-business, specially based on more self-organized systems.

Four topics have been investigated so far: What is an ontology of business models? How to analyze the players inter-relationships in m-business, and visualize their battlefield? What lessons may be drawn from other, older, peer-to-peer environments such as music distribution? What are the impacts of ad hoc networks on existing business models and value chains?


The National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs) are a research instrument of the Swiss National Science Foundation.
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