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Mobile telephony's technical and market success in Europe attracted researchers' interest in mobile systems. Some researchers began investigating appropriate architectures for providing information services to cellular mobile telephony users, and the quest for the "killer" third-generation (3G) mobile telephony application dominated the EU Information Society Technology research program. Dozens of projects launched to pursue this aim, and we were intimately involved in several of them. We report here on lessons learned during our involvement in this research and suggest how pervasive computing might benefit from this experience. Although some business and practical challenges exist, mobile phones could serve as information service end points, control devices for ubiquitous systems, network hubs for personal and body area networks, and ID tokens.