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Mobile Commerce in South Africa

Mobile Commerce in South Africa
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Author(s): Anesh Maniraj Singh (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 9
Source title: Mobile Computing: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): David Taniar (Monash University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-054-7.ch135


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The last decade has seen a rush among businesses to get onto the Internet. Since its introduction, e-commerce has grown in leaps and bounds. The frenzy to get online and be a part of the “new economy” was spurred on by media hype describing the Internet as the greatest technology this century. Organisations embarked on initiatives to change their business models, looking for e-strategies as a means of revolutionising their business. By mid 2000, many of the dot.coms were “dot.gones.” The primary reason for this sudden death was that businesses forgot the basic rule of business: creating economic value. Economic value as defined by Porter (1985) is the gap between price and cost—the larger the gap, the greater the economic value. According to Porter (2001), gaining a competitive advantage does not require a radical approach to business; it requires building on the principles of effective strategy. Businesses that went online should not have looked for e-strategies, but should have improved on their existing strategy to include an e-strategy. GPRS, wireless Web, handhelds, m-commerce, 2nd coming of the Internet, m-management, killer apps, 2G or 3G, always-on, have been the buzzwords in the media. Is this new hype really worth the fuss? M-commerce has failed in the United States and has made a brief appearance in South Africa. Therefore, this article asks the question “Is there potential to revive m-commerce in South Africa?” In attempting to answer this question, this article will examine issues such as uses of m-commerce, the benefits and challenges of mcommerce, trends in the wireless industry, and the technology underlying m-commerce. This article will also attempt to provide suggestions for harnessing the power of the wireless Web. Most of the discussions are based on universal experience supported with what the current situation is in South Africa; therefore, this article will not be separated into a universal section with a smaller subset focussing on South Africa.

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