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Jupiter Expands to Latin America

Pointing to Latin America as an Internet phenomena-in-waiting, Jupiter Communications this week expanded into the region with the launch of localized research services.

Jupiter (JPTR) inked a deal with IBOPE, the largest market research organization in Latin America, to conduct surveys on the Internet economy in Latin America. IBOPE will also be involved in Jupiter's marketing and sales maneuvers.

The company has introduced Internet Commerce Forum conferences and a Latin America Market Research Module that includes country-by-country analysis.

"It is inevitable that Internet commerce will explode in Latin America, but in a way that is unique to the region and its distinct market dynamics," said Gene DeRose, Jupiter's chief executive officer.

"Over the next decade, we believe the Internet growth in Latin America will transform the global Internet economy among Spanish-speaking peoples of the world, and within the vibrant and ascendant Hispanic market in the US."

Jupiter's first round of research in the region shows that Latin America's online population is expected to jump from 9 million this year to 38 million in 2003, an unusually high rate that beats the growth speed for the US, Europe and Asia.

Jupiter studies also indicate that while Latin America will enjoy continued rapid growth, the highest levels of online users will be concentrated in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. Total Internet penetration within the region will remain low, reaching a projected 6.8 percent of the population in 2003.

International Data Corp. (IDC) last month released a report that nearly 85 percent of companies in Latin America are using or are willing to evaluate e-commerce within the next two years.