The Internet is quickly evolving towards the wireless Internet. According to forecasts, by 2003 the wireless Internet will have the same number of users that the fixed Internet has today (around 300M). The IPV6 protocol, foundation of both the Internet and of 3G mobile phones, will blur the distinction between the Internet and mobile telecom networks. As a consequence data traffic will surpass voice traffic in the next few years. This huge new market will generate a tremendous demand for mobile
services, such as:

  • Travel information (directions, booking of restaurants and hotels, etc.)
  • Information (news, weather, traffic)
  • Roadside assistance
  • Ticketing and schedules (planes, trains, boats, metros..)
  • Banking, trading
  • Health care, telemedicine (monitoring of mobile patient functions, emergency care from ambulances)
  • Education (especially for, but not limited to, developing countries)
  • Business to employees (B2E), logistics: fleet management, asset tracking, people finding, tele-working.
  • Substitution of current dedicated lines for company VPNs with public 3G networks.
  • Security: tracking of stolen vehicles and assets, monitoring and tele-surveillance.
  • Advertising and communication: advertising based on location.

The wireless Internet will be based upon wirelines and devices from the traditional Internet, and will reuse some of its techniques and protocols. However, the wireless Internet will not be a simple add-on to the wireline Internet. From the technical point of view, new challenging problems arise from the handling of mobility, handsets with reduced screens and varying bandwidth. From the business point of view, the business models will change. Quoting from a UMTS Forum report

"It would be a mistake to apply the business models and strategies that have been developed for the fixed Internet on a one-to-one basis to the mobile Internet"

And, last but not least, the transition to the wireless Internet will happen in the near future, when today's problem of shortage of qualified technical personnel will not be solved, or will even be worse.

As a result, it is easy to forecast that developing and operating the new mobile services will be a challenging software and system integration problem, in a new business scenario, with scarcity of qualified personnel.

This project aims at anticipating these problems by producing integrated methods and tools to engineer services on the wireless Internet, and by testing them on real world pilot services.



The main deliverables of the project can be classified as technology and methodology. Clearly, each one influences the other.

The main parts of the technology are:

  • A high level architecture for mobile services. The architecture provides the essential framework to build or specialize services. A new service is developed starting from the architecture. The architecture defines components, relationships among components, functions offered by components.
  • Service management component (offering functions needed by several services, such as user authentication, profile management, etc.)
  • Data replication and synchronization component (offering functions to provide seamless replication and
    synchronization of data on a network)
  • Software agents to support negotiation functions in components (content negotiation, etc.).

The methodology is the overall guideline to use the technologies. Its main parts are:

  • A business model to specify roles and skills of involved parties, (the service provider, the service developer, the content provider, the network provider, the content broker, the profile broker..)
  • An overall process to drive the engineering of mobile services. Within the process, specific methods and techniques for verification and validation of services, and for delivery and control of service quality in general.
  • Guidelines to handle heterogeneous clients



This project delivers methodology and technology to develop services on the wireless Internet. Workpackages WP-Methodology and WP-Technology take care of these aspects. Experimenting methodology and technology in real life applications is key both to validate and improve them. With this aim the project will develop pilot services, in WP-Pilot Services. WP-Evaluation is charged of preparing tools and measures to evaluate the effect of methodology and technology. WP-Exploitation takes care of planning and implementing the exploitation of results, WP-Dissemination of diffusing them to the broadest possible audience. WP-Management is charged of managing the project.

We are bound to work in the wireless Internet, where ‘Internet time’ reigns. In this context, we assume that an iterative, incremental development style is essential to survive. We plan three iterations, roughly 9 months each.

In the first iteration (Baseline), the pilot applications are built in version one, providing few, key functionalities, by WP-Pilot Service. Assuming a start date of September 2000, the underlying standard will be GPRS. The pilots are built with a very sketchy version zero of methodology and technology (M&T). Meanwhile, version one is developed by WP-Methodology and WP-Technology.

In the second iteration (Experimentation) a richer version two of the pilots is developed, using methodology and technology version one. At this time UMTS could be available, so the underlying standard will be UMTS or GPRS as a backup. In parallel an improved version two of M&T is developed.

In the third iteration (Consolidation) version 3 of the pilots is developed, using M&T V.2. The underlying standard should be UMTS. A final version of M&T is developed.

Each iteration provides feedback (both qualitative, and quantitative or metrics) for the next iteration. Each iteration defines three connected milestones, the availability of a new version of methodology and technology, and the availability of a new version of pilot services. The simplified Gantt below gives a graphic overview of the workplan and of the principles inspiring it.