Study: Wireless Internet Users Increasing More Slowly Than Expected

Compiled By Traci Purdum The number of wireless Internet users is going to increase almost 300% by 2007, according to Probe Research Inc.'s "Wireless Internet Year-End 2002 Review and User Forecast." The report, which analyzes global trends by geographic region, major carrier and technology, shows that the bulk of users will be in the Asia/Pacific region, with China alone contributing 25% of the subscribers in that region. While major carriers such as Vodafone and Verizon Wireless are aggressively pursuing data services, the report notes that demand for wireless services "has continued to fall short of expectations," which has resulted in some carriers reducing their emphasis on wireless products. However, David Chamberlain, an analyst with Probe, says that demand will significantly increase. "The high percentage of prepaid customers was limiting the number of potential wireless Internet subscribers," he says. "However, billing systems that permit prepaid users to access wireless data offerings and a strong trend toward increasing the percentage of contract customers are rapidly increasing the total addressable market for wireless Internet in Western Europe." Probe Research, a provider of market research and business consulting services, is based in Cedar Knolls, N.J.

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