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The Mobile Web refers to browser-based access to the Internet or web applications using a mobile device - such as a smartphone - connected to a wireless network. In 2008 an important milestone in the transition from fixed to mobile Web use was reached when mobile access to the Internet exceeded desktop computer-based access for the first time (source: International Telecommunications Union, Oct 2009). In 2010, cellphones are used more for data than for calls.

Mobile Web access today still suffers from interoperability and usability problems. Interoperability issues stem from the platform fragmentation of mobile devices, mobile operating systems, and browsers. Usability problems are centered around the small physical size of the mobile phone form factors (limited resolution screens and user input/operating limitations).

Moving forward, the distinction between the Mobile Web and native mobile applications is anticipated to become increasingly blurred, as mobile browsers gain direct access to the hardware of mobile devices (including accelerometers and GPS chips), and the performance of browser-based applications improve (speed- and capability-wise). Persistent storage and access to sophisticated user interface graphics functions may further reduce the need for the development of platform-specific native applications.

Once users are unable to differentiate between native and mobile web applications, the Mobile Web will refer generically to applications and web access from a mobile device.

'Mobile Internet' refers to access to the Internet from a mobile device, such as a smartphone or laptop via integrated capabilities or via an independent device (such as a USB modem or PCMCIA card).

Today USB modems are HSPA (3.5G) modems. Many users "tether" their smartphones to their laptop or personal computer with the wireless device providing access to the Internet via 3G, GPRS or CSD.

Mobile Internet is a great medium for reaching education to all places unreached.


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