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Mobile Internet woos LatAm gadget-lovers
Posted: 30-Jul-2000 [Source: Reuters]

[Latin America's love affair with mobile phones creates great expectations for WAP, partially due to large numbers of young early adopters. Also, economics will prevent overcrowded networks, as in Europe recently. ]

Sao Paulo, Brazil -- "It's taken Japan's young and hip by storm but has left some Europeans exasperated. Now, the mobile Internet phenomenon is set to woo gadget-friendly Latin America in what some analysts say will be a fruitful romance.

"Cell phones that can access the Internet by using the Wireless Application Protocol, or WAP, have arrived on the region's shelves, enticing consumers to book restaurants, check movie listings or get traffic updates off the Net via their phone screens.

"Latin America's large and youthful population with its penchant for technology trends could provide a ripe market for mobile Internet providers, market experts say, despite WAP's lukewarm reception in wealthier Europe.

"WAP is the Internet sports car," said Nizan Guanaes, president of Brazilian Internet company iG.

"As for his fellow Brazilians and wireless technology, the relationship is simpatico, Guanaes noted, asking: "Do you know how unbelievably attached to their cell phones these people are?"

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