Wireless mobile connections have some well known disadvantages, like slow data rate, high and variable error-rate. In addition to that there are possible (and probable) inefficiencies when connecting different types of protocols stacks, like running TCP over GPRS. On the other hand mobile and portable devices have some limitations, which are based on their size and cannot therefore be removed totally. Potential users are so-called common people and they would like to have very simple-to-use applications solving their daily problems, not causing new ones.
One approach to make this situation better is to use agents. They could operate on many different levels, like connecting different physical servers to produce the service needed, connecting different services together, optimizing for different types of user devices, connecting different message types (like audio, animation etc.) to produce the service, making transformations (like reading e-mails as voice mail etc.). This paper will discuss these various aspects of agent technology in the context of mobile services provided to consumers.
Discussion and conclusions are partly based on the ZanderMail project. Although it is a mail agent project its results can easily be extended to various message types and various other services, like those based on the location of mobile device. The paper will cover widely these different ideas and ZanderMail is just used as an example and a tool for testing various issues. The idea is to utilize agents many ways to fade away at least partly those known problems mentioned in the beginning. An agent could operate in the network quite near the mobile device to overcome the problem caused by different protocol stacks. It could make logical decisions based on location and other local information, like weather, and it could handle priority issues on various levels of application(s).