Web Conferencing on Smart Phones. Are You Ready For More Productivity Options?

It’s hard enough for me to download email, talk, visit a web site or SMS a large image with my cell phone – why would I want to go through the pain of participating in a web conference via cell phone?
If your smartphone is equipped to run on a high speed network like 3G and has the processing power to run higher end applications, the experience could be tolerable if not downright enjoyable.
Wikipedia writes that 3G networks enable network operators to offer users a wider range of more advanced services while achieving greater network capacity through improved spectral efficiency. Services include wide-area wireless voice telephony, video calls, and broadband wireless data, all in a mobile environment. Additional features also include HSPA data transmission capabilities able to deliver speeds up to 14.4 Mbit/s on the downlink and 5.8 Mbit/s on the uplink.
If all you are using your cell phone for today is talking and texting you might be missing out on other uses for your phone, many that have been traditionally done by computers. Although the computer will be the main tool for businesses in offices, as mobile professionals work more in their cars, hotel rooms, Kinkos or rent-by-the-day office buildings, the use of mobile phones and NOT traditional computers will increase.
For example, Cisco recently announced support for its online conferencing system, WebEx on 3G and 2G cell phones or via WiFi. Users will be able to launch Cisco WebEx Meeting Center through the browser on their smartphones to receive integrated audio and web conferencing over 3G or a combination of 2G and Wi-Fi. In addition, users will be able to attend a scheduled meeting and to view presentations, applications and desktops with live annotations. This offering is planned to be available on several smartphone operating systems including BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile. There is no cost to attend these meetings, but to schedule and host a meeting from a computer requires a host account on Cisco WebEx Meeting Center.

Webex has traditionally been a desktop computer application/service. However, enabling its use on a cell phone is inevitable. Of course with the rise of Apple’s iPod and continued popularity of BlackBerry’s the cell phone industry knows they have to do more than churn out cool cell phones but also enable productive and “cool” applications that can be used on the cell phones, on high speed networks.
As your company grows and looks for ways to be more productive and efficient, consider how you can leverage the increased power of the smart phone and cellular networks to compliment or replace computers.
Another advantage of the cell phone is that it is the ideal, out of the box, appliance. Once configured, if you lose it or it gets stolen everything can be replaced, almost immediately through wireless or wired synchronization or a memory card.
What’s your experience with 3G applications on smartphones?

2 thoughts on “Web Conferencing on Smart Phones. Are You Ready For More Productivity Options?

  1. Tim at Cisco

    I have used the WebEx app on the iPhone in a couple of test sessions. Now for full disclosure, I work at Cisco but I also using WebEx everyday. The WebEx meetings on the iPhone are absolutely fantastic. The functionality is complete, including being able to see a shared desktop and to chat with other participants. My favorite feature is that if the slides or shared content are too small for you to see on the iPhone display, you can use “stretch” feature on iPhone to make the content larger and zoom in on specifics. Someone recently noted to me “Now you can do WebEx call on the golf course.” My response, “that’s terrible golf etiquette”. However, if I were in the airport or on a train or somewhere else on the move, I would absolutely be able to participate fully via WebEx on iPhone. Kudos to the WebEx team.

  2. iPhone Junkie

    wow, this is really taking mobile phones to the next level as a business tool. i wonder how effective web conferencing from the mobile will be. i have been accessing and using business collaboration tools (intranet access, shared contacts, tasks calendars, corporate mail, even document access and sharing) on my iPhone using [3/17/2009 11:34:52 PM] Pankaj Taneja: HyperOffice Collaboration Suite for a year now, and that has been really effective. web conferencing on the mobile would give you an added degree of flexibility for sure.

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