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Gone are the days when wireless carriers hoped for an i-Mode–like uptake in the United States or Europe, a rising tide that could lift an entire company based on value-added services and enthusiastic third-party application developer support. Instead, wireless carriers are now trying to justify huge expenditures made over the past five years for equipment upgrades and spectrum auctions.

Wireless data is almost universally thought of as a "long-range play" as vendors and carriers place their hopes on enterprise customers in the near term. Still, there are signs of optimism, much of it generated from the successes—and lessons learned—in Asia, particularly Japan. Carriers there have shown that an entry-level wireless solution that ignites customer interest requires packet-based networks, integrated billing mechanisms (Billing On Behalf Of), and aggressive revenue sharing with independent developers.

J2ME is perfectly poised to deliver advanced applications to these markets because it is the only available technology that allows a developer to build rich, multiplatform, internationalized applications. Developers who want to learn more about these opportunities should visit any of the links below:

DoCoMo i-Mode Information (English): http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/p_s/imode/index.html

iAppli PicoBrowser: http://www.ai.mit.edu/people/hqm/imode/pico.html

i-Jade iAppli Emulator: http://www.zentek.com/i-JADE/en/index.html

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