"Satellite is expensive and is not good for two-way traffic, while 802.11 is great for wireless LANs.
"There isn't one technology that is the answer." Reed said ubiquitous coverage is about productivity as people are inherently mobile.
"If you have to travel to the network, you loose time," he said. "There is room for wireless and fixed networks but the vibrancy is around mobility. Different network options give people the ability to choose to use a type of technology anywhere they go."
PBBA plans to have its iBurst wireless broadband service operational in all capitals by the end of 2003.
A Wireless networks are an extension of an enterprise's existing infrastructure but simply giving someone a device can be as inefficient as paper, according to Microsoft's mobility business group manager Calum Russell.
"There are a lot of simple efficiencies with wireless as it's not rocket science," Russell said. "However, enterprises need to do their homework to avoid the common problem of devices being purchased without direction." Russell recommends "time and motion studies" of mobile workers to determine how much time it will save.
"When a person is entering data, talk to them about how this could be improved," he said.
Microsoft is touting a mobile application platform that is agnostic to the type of wireless network protocol.
"The application smarts need to be there regardless of the connection type -- wireless LAN, GPRS, or no connection at all," Russell said.
"With so many applications you can get lost, so we find that most companies do point solutions. This must be done carefully to avoid the age-old, silos problem." Russell said mobile sales and CRM applications are the most common in a "very healthy market".
Another wireless application that has received much attention this year is radio frequency identification, or RFID. IBM's Asia-Pacific wireless leader Will Duckworth said the technology is ready and piloting it is the way to go.
"This year we have seen a lot of talk about RFID, but not much implementation," Duckworth said.
"In 2004 we will see more use of the technology as retailers are demanding it. RFID has got to happen." Duckworth said 2004 will bring a shake up of standards and vendor compliance.
"Gauge your business requirements and go with appropriate standards," he said. "For example, with 802.11g becoming commoditized it shows the standard has gained acceptance."