Wireless Data Users to Reach 25M by 2003, According to Cahners In-Stat Groupp

In a recent wireless report, Cahners In-Stat Group estimates that the wireless data market will grow to 25 million subscribers in 2003 from a mere 1.7 million users today. Current users represent approximately two to three percent of traffic over cellular and broadband PCS carriers' networks.

"Our research continues to show that users want access to wireless data," said Becky Diercks, Director of Wireless Research. "In the future, we believe mobile workers will represent the best market for these services, followed by the corporate market as it adopts horizontal applications such as e-mail, fax, and access to the Internet, and lastly, the consumer market."

Wireless Internet access is expected to become very seamless to users in the next few years and demand will be high because users won't realize they are accessing the "Net for simple requests." For example, in the future, carriers will provide customers with the ability to access their Web site to obtain frequently requested information, thereby reducing the burden on call centers and their associated expenditures.

Cahners In-Stat Group research also found:

Portals, service bureaus, and gateways will be offered. Yet, carriers may take several months to settle on their options. Offering services based on these technologies will help stoke the fire for wireless data and Internet adoption in the future. Digital circuit-switched providers must reduce current costs and work to provide fixed price plans. Additionally, carriers must work to build-out their networks to provide reliable connections as well as tout the security of their networks. These are key issues currently slowing user adoption of wireless data.

The report, The Wireless Data Market: Finally Poised for Growth, (Report No. WP9909SP), details the market demands of business users of cellular or PCS phones in the small office/home office (SOHO), small, middle and large businesses. Forecasts include cellular digital packet data (CDPD), circuit-switched data, other wireless packet data, and enhanced specialized mobile radio (ESMR) services. They do not include paging technology, unless provisioned over a wireless handset (e.g., short message service) or wireless LANs. The Mobile Data Service will be publishing a detailed breakdown of forecasts by consumer and company size.

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