The controversy surrounding mobile phone payments for items such as music downloads, films delivered to an email address and other mobile content paid for via premium SMS is about to end, according to Birmingham lawyer Andrew Sparrow.
For the last two years the European Commission's EMoney Directive has threatened to extinguish the market for physical goods and digital content being offered to consumers using their mobile phones.
Mr Sparrow, founder of Birmingham-based internet and new media lawyers Lecote Solicitors, believes the development will lead to an explosion in mobile internet services.
"The growth in mobile internet access has been arrested since 2003 because of the impact of the Financial Services Authority interpretation of E-Money," he said.
"Effectively prepaid airtime was viewed by the FSA as falling foul of Electronic Money regulations and required operators to apply for a licence from the FSA.
"The process of application involved costs and compliance issues which many in the emerging mobile content industry felt would act as a constraint on the potential market for services delivered using ever more sophisticated mobile devices.
"Mobile phone operators have been forced to require content providers to cease taking payments for content and goods via reverse billed SMS."
He added: "However, the European Commission has just issued a new guidance note which appears to allow the UK Financial Services Authority to alter its position.
"The FSA is about to instigate a consultation process on the Commission's note, but it is reasonable to predict that the conclusion will amount to a U-turn of the stance adopted so far.
"Clearly, until the FSA makes its final ruling the position remains as it has for two years - but the signals are good."
Mr Sparrow said that the likely change would serve as a further boost to the MCommerce market and was very timely.
"Consumers are rapidly becoming much more comfortable with internet purchases in general," he said.
"Things like legitimate music downloads and rich media such as film content are set to amount to a quantum leap in mobile content.
"Only last week it was reported stock market interest in internet businesses is increasing significantly for the first time since the year 2000 and this time it is based on actual performance of ebusinesses, as many have demonstrated that money can be made on the internet.
"If the FSA is poised to free up the mobile content market then I think the coming year will see significant interest in the internet's growing commercial potential.
"This example of the intervention of the FSA on the question of mobile prepaid airtime highlighted the problem which can arise in attempts at legal governance of the internet - that sometimes commercial opportunities which might take ecommerce forward are thwarted by laws never intended to apply to internet activity. I'm hopeful the FSA will conclude they can reverse their previous position."