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Wireless ASPs (WASPs)

WASPs either host custom wireless applications they have developed or wireless-enable existing installed or hosted applications. They rely on infrastructure service providers for data center and network infrastructure. Their customers are typically enterprises that require hosted wireless functionality and software vendors or integrators that need existing or developing applications to be wireless-enabled. Although they derive some revenues from leasing fees for their hosted wireless services, most come from professional service fees for consulting and customization.

There are two types of WASPs. The first type sells general-purpose wireless applications to companies such as wireless service providers and portals, who then resell them to consumers. The second develops and leases custom applications to corporations doing e-business, so they can better serve their mobile customers or empower their mobile employees.

The first type aggregates content and provides services such as messaging to wireless carriers and portals; they in turn pay the WASP usage fees and rebrand the services for their end customers. The second type develops custom applications for corporate customers such as financial organizations that offer wireless virtual banking services to their users. They earn revenues through application development, implementation, and usage fees.

Although most large service providers will use large system integrators to develop their own portals and custom wireless applications, smaller providers with limited cash flow will look to WASPs to develop and host their wireless services. And rather than compete with WASPs, conventional ASPs—already challenged with the new hosted virtual computing model—will likely outsource wireless-related portions of their hosted services to them. After all, wireless technology is evolving so rapidly that WASPs with wireless core competence will maintain the state-of-the-art for hosted wireless services.

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