Introduction

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Dramatic advances in technology, fierce economic competition, and processes

of globalization are changing the world at a rapid pace. Linked to these changes

is the need for increased and ongoing interconnectedness between people.

Most pertinent, perhaps, of today’s advanced technologies are the new and

highly advanced mobile IT applications. Clearly, interest in mobile applications

is increasing, and savvy firms are pondering the strategic implications of mcommerce

to their products and markets. Mobile phones are becoming

omnipresent and we are only beginning to see their effects on social and

economic life. Worldwide, at the beginning of 2000, the number of cellular

subscriptions was 470 million, and this was thought to grow to 1 billion by the

end of 2003 (Ovum, 2000). It is also thought that the number of Internetenabled

mobile phones (using WAP or its successors) will increase from 1.1

million at the end of 1999 up to somewhere around 80 million worldwide by

2003 (Jupiter Communications, 2000; Yankee Group, 2000).

A central question for IT researchers is how the process of mobile IT use

changes perceptions of relationships and interpretations of time and space. This

paper seeks to answer this question and provide a direction for future research

on mobile IT use. To this end, it is important to consider technological as well

as social issues in this process.

It is fair to say that, in general, research on mobile IT use has not often been

theory-informed. More typically, research on mobile IT use has been primarily

an observational endeavor composed of a diverse and idiosyncratic range of

studies, often uncoupled to each other and to theory. This lack of theoretical

platform is unfortunate, as researchers are confronted with a great number of

different technologies and a great diversity of contexts. Although it can be

argued that recent research on mobile IT use has been better linked to theory

 (e.g., Cooper, 2002; Kopomaa, 2000; Laurier, 2002), a clear need remains

in research on mobile IT use to improve the linkage between formal theory and

observations. An ancillary need is for the field to develop central, key questions

that are pertinent today, but unanswered.

For this reason, the present study undertakes a further analysis to understand

the dynamics of mobile IT use. The study is an attempt to explore issues of

temporality and spatiality, and their relation to mobile IT. The study examines

empirically experiences from a project focused on the development of a mobile

IT application to be used by bank customers. The findings highlight the

theoretical implications of the combined deployment of notions of time and

space in the use of mobile IT, and contribute to the literature on IT-enabled

activities in a broader sense. Finally, the results yield practical insights into how

we can best support mobile IT use.