Significant advances have been made in recent years in tackling the problem of heterogeneity in distributed systems with ISO/ITU-T standards for a Reference Model for Open Distributed Processing (RM-ODP) now approaching international agreement. It is important, however, that such standards are responsive to new developments in computer and communications technologies. This paper reports on experiences of applying RM-ODP technology and mobile communications in supporting field workers in the electricity industry. The results of the study show that the framework provided by RM-ODP offers a strong basis for the development of mobile applications. Particular benefits are gained from the object-oriented modelling approach, the model of selective distribution transparency and the concept of QoS-managed bindings in RM-ODP. However, our experiences indicate that care must be taken in the development of RM-ODP compliant platforms particularly with respect to the communications infrastructure.