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The development of new mobile services can benefit from adopting XML Web services technologies, because this can dramatically reduce the time to market for many types of mobile services. However, it is often believed that XML Web services will become too large a bottleneck in service performance, rendering the service unusable, as well as it can compromise service usage due to lack of security features. This paper provides a thorough study of these topics, i.e., a study of the typical performance of mobile services built on top of XML Web services, how security features can be introduced for these services and how these security features influence on the performance of services. The results of this paper should apply to any mobile services implementation based on XML Web services technologies.