Alternative digital technologies

In this section we introduce three alternative or complementary digital media access platforms to PC-based fixed Internet access, which provide many similar advantages. These access platforms or environments are mobile or wireless, interactive digital TV and digital radio.

Mobile or wireless access devices

Mobile technologies are not new - it has been possible for many years to access the Internet for e-mail using a laptop connected via a modem. However, the need for large devices directly connected to the Internet was overcome with the development of personal digital assistants (PDAs) such as the PocketPC or RIM Blackberry and mobile phones. These access the Internet using a wireless connection.

The characteristics that mobile or wireless connections offer to their users are ubiquity (can be accessed from anywhere), reachability (their users can be reached when not in their normal location) and convenience (it is not necessary to have access to a power supply or fixed-line connection). In addition to these obvious benefits, there are additional benefits that are less obvious: they provide security - each user can be authenticated since each wireless device has a unique identification code; their location can be used to tailor content; and they provide a degree of privacy compared with a desktop PC - looking for jobs on a wireless device might be better than under the gaze of

Table 3.2 Summary of mobile or wireless Internet access consumer proposition

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