|2000 to be Banner Year for Mobile Comms in Europe|
Posted: 28-Dec-1999 [Source: TORNADO-INSIDER.COM]
["WAP will finally happen next year" according to this interesting end of year review.]
By Kristi Essick -- "In the mobile communications market, 1999 saw the emergence of WAP and held the promise of wireless data. But 2000 is set to bring about another set of advances in wireless communications, which will see one in two Europeans possessing a mobile phone by the end of the year, according to new research from telecoms consultancy Strategy Analytics.
"Though 1999 saw a lot of hype surrounding mobile phones for Internet access, in 2000, operators will begin to roll out the first real mobile data services. The most widely used of these services will require low-bandwidth, such as e-mail and wireless information services, as high-bandwidth technologies will only just begin to be tested out by operators, says Strategy Analytics. ISPs and content providers will collaborate with mobile operators to create "Internet-in-your-pocket services" by launching specialized wireless portals, says the research team, but usage of these services will remain low during 2000.
"The year of data hasn't really happened yet, but in 1999, data made huge inroads," says Decklan Lonergan, director of wireless services at Strategy Analytics. Some operators reported 6 to 7 percent of revenues from mobile data services this year, he says, which is more than Strategy Analytics would have predicted. Much of this growth has come from SMS messaging, and this segment will see continued growth in 2000, he says. "The next step is to bump it up a bit and offer proper e-mail," says Lonergan.
"Phones will get more sophisticated to handle data services, WAP will finally happen next year," but the real usage of wireless data will come from connected handheld computers and PDAs, says Lonergan. "We'll see major advances in extending wireless connectivity to handhelds," he says.
"Mobile e-commerce services will see the light of day in 2000, but won't generate much demand before 2002, while wireless home networking via technologies such as Bluetooth will just begin to find initial acceptance. Full implementation of 3G technologies won't happen until the earliest 2002 or 2003, but next year will see a bidding war between operators for the first 3G licenses across Europe, says Lonergan.
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