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This is part II of this series.

Six years ago, I had an opportunity to attend a Gartner Mobile & Wireless Summit that was held in Detroit from March 26 – March 29 2006. During the summit I also took some notes, which were written at the time so I could share with my colleagues back at Coke.  

Well, I recently discovered those notes in my archive and found it very interesting to just look back and see what the analysts were saying at the time and how things have changed in the past 6 years. 

These are unedited notes and hoping just like me you would find them interesting.

As you read it, please remember this is from 2006 when most people in the Industry were probably not even dreaming of something like iPhone and iPad.

RFID

  1. 5c RFID tag is a myth. Prices may come down to 15 to 20c by 2009.
  2. Before selecting an RFID technology vendor, make sure they have some kind of patent licensing arrangement with Intermec.
  3. The RFID readers still cannot reliably read an arbitrary no of tags without a clear line of sight and you will see a little improvement before 2009.

Mobile DBMS

  1. Among the top four: Sybase, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle; Sybase offers a most complete and mature solution followed by IBM and Microsoft. Oracle Lite is not a priority for Oracle at this time, which could be due to their focus elsewhere such as the Data warehouse.
  2. Sybase remains a leader but Gartner is not sure for how long. Both IBM and Microsoft (Windows only) with their big wallet are catching up fast.
  3. It is highly recommended to use a real DBMS to store data on the device. Avoid Open Source databases for device and stay with established technology vendor (IBM, MS etc) as the technology is still at early stages of maturity. Open Source may be a viable option for backend database though.
  4. Data Synchronization remains the single most important differentiator for mobile DBMS and accordingly for the mobile application. They recommend keeping the mobile architecture and data synchronization simple.
  5. By 2010, Linux with Windows will dominate for backend DBMS (you will not be able to avoid Linux at backend). Unstructured data such as XML and JPEG will be stored and searchable in database; traditional data will shrink.

Mobile Architecture

  1. Sybase and IBM remain two leading technology vendors.
  2. SAP NW – Not sure how much SAP will open up to other vendors. Connectivity to non-SAP systems remain a struggle.
  3. Mobile Frame and Antenna are promising.
  4. Microsoft and SAP are investing heavily in mobile space.
  5. .NET is becoming stronger than ever over Java. It is growing like a cloud.
  6. Research in Motion (Blackberry) provides best wireless security in the mobile space.
  7. Continued push towards thick client applications primarily due to wireless coverage issues.
  8. Open Source – Huge investments are happening, but it is being used mostly for the low level consumer applications.
  9. Continued push towards thick client applications primarily due to wireless coverage issues

Wi-Fi Alliance

  1. Wi-Fi hot spots will cover 126,000 sq miles by 2010 compared to 1500 in 2005
  2. Consider 802.11b/g for mission critical handhelds and 802.11a (5 GHz) for laptops. (There was another analyst who also recommended reserving 802.11a for laptops)
  3. 802.11n standards – IEEE ratification is expected in Q4 2007 followed immediately by commercial products release. 802.11n will offer 150-600 Mbps data rate (compare with 11mbps of 802.11b) with improved performance, range and power save capabilities. It will use the existing 2.4GHz and 5 GHz spectrum.
  4. 802.16e (Wide Area Broadband Access) is just getting started and is a space to watch.
  5. 802.11b alone is now history and multiple radios will coexist.

Part-I of this series can be found here http://scn.sap.com/community/mobile/blog/2012/03/17/notes-from-bygone-era

(Please do share your opinion on how things have changed and don’t forget to rate/like this post…)

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  1. Sascha Wenninger

    Hi Narendra,

    thank you again for sharing the second part as well. You’ve provided a very important perspective on the current discussions around mobile, and it is one which is not often heard in the relentless pursuit of forward-progress.

    Like in your first post, there are some very interesting predictions which history has rendered now completely obsolete. Mobile RDBMS? I would say that a combination of better SDKs than were ever available on Win CE, open-source (No)SQL data stores with sometimes built-in replication, lean REST/JSON APIs, 3G/4G networks and other technologies which I missed, simply made the need for a mobile RDBMS totally obsolete. Sure, there will be edge cases where this makes sense, but I would say that the ecosystem has largely leapfrogged over this to a position which was not foreseeable only 6 years ago.

    Likewise with .Net, RIM, 802.16e and so on… 6 years was only 2 generations in the world of Desktop PCs. Nowadays, it’s what – 6 generations?

    Thank you again for sharing!

    Sascha

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