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WIRELESS USERS INTERESTED IN MOBILE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET

WASHINGTON-More than half of wireless subscribers and 40 percent of non-users expressed an interest in two-way wireless e-mail, representing a potential market of 44.3 million users, according to a study conducted by The Strategis Group.

The study, Wireless Internet and E-mail Markets: 1997, predicted the market for wireless e-mail users will grow from less than half a million today to 15.6 million in 2001. Growth during the next year will remain slow as digital cellular and personal communications services networks become fully deployed, but Strategis expects growth to surge in 1998.

“With the sudden emergence of electronic messaging and the Internet, wireless carriers are facing an incredible opportunity to extend these capabilities to the mobile environment,” said John Zahurancik, wireless Internet analyst for the firm. “Wireless e-mail is the next logical step in the trend toward advanced wireless messaging.”

Strategis said digital cellular and PCS carriers will dominate the market share for two-way wireless e-mail. AT&T Wireless Services Inc., Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile and GTE Corp. already offer wireless e-mail using smart phones operating on analog cellular networks and PCS carrier Omnipoint Corp. provides two-way wireless e-mail via short message service on standard PCS handsets.

Strategis said carriers will use wireless e-mail to differentiate their services and slow the decline in average revenue per subscriber.

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