The term mobile internet refers to accessing the internet through (cellular) mobile devices and represents the convergence of mobile telephony, internet services, and personal computing. Whereas iMode (mobile internet and data services) was introduced in Japan as long ago as 1999 and became widely used (Barnes & Huff, 2003; Daliot-Bul, 2007), the release of the iPhone is commonly regarded as the decisive moment in popularizing mobile internet and smartphones in the West (Goggin, 2009; West & Mace, 2010; Campbell & La Pastina, 2010). The convergence of mobile phones into programmable hand-held computers has reshaped the ICT industry and created a lucrative mobile internet business that spans the telecommunications, handset manufacturer, and software sectors. Goggin (2012, p.742) rightly points out that mobile media nowadays represents ‘a new, exciting, but troubling set of developments.’ Mobile technologies are indeed exciting, as they symbolize a new cultural platform and one of the most personal technologies available today. However, their development is also troubling, because critical issues such as net neutrality, access to the internet, and control over and the commodification of user data are extended to the mobile domain and require timely evaluation. Exploring the development of the mobile internet is crucial for understanding the ubiquitous internet. Indeed, it is not only that increasingly more users access the web through mobile devices, but industry standards, structures, and practices are also changing, with implications for society at large.

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ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Department of Media and Communication

Mosemghvdlishvili, L. (2015). Mobile Internet: Politics of Mobile Code and Networks. In The Ubiquitious Internet:User and Industry Perspectives (pp. 171–184). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/77527