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Internet Power-Base in Europe Could Shift to Mobile Operators
Posted: 30-Aug-2000 [Source: IDC press release]

[An IDC study predicts that mobile commerce will reach US$37.7 billion by 2004 in Europe alone, shifting power to Mobile Internet companies.]

"According to IDC, wireless application protocol (WAP)-based applications are coming of age in Europe, which could result in a shifting of the Internet power-base in favor of the mobile operators, such as Vodafone, Orange, or Telecom Italia Mobile. This theme will be explored in one of the presentations at this year's European IT Forum, to be held in Monaco next month.

"IDC believes the mobile operators have the potential to be the Yahoos and AOLs of the future in terms of content and access. In Japan, for example, NTT DoCoMo's i-mode wireless Internet service has over 10 million subscribers, making it the second biggest ISP in the world - in a few years it could be the biggest ISP in the world in terms of subscriber numbers, possibly followed by Vodafone and France Telecom Orange.

"mCommerce and mobile location-based services are the killer apps of the mobile Internet," said Tim Sheedy, senior research analyst for IDC's European Wireless and Mobile Communications research. "Applications such as these are what's required to grow the market - as organizations begin to launch such services, there will be huge levels of growth in usage of mobile Internet." According to a recent IDC study, mobile commerce in Western Europe is set to grow from $51.2 million this year to a staggering $37.7 billion in 2004.

"Mobile Internet isn't about GPRS, UMTS, or WAP, but about the applications that use these services," Sheedy said. "Without mobile applications that require broadband connections, third-generation services are redundant."

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