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Wireless Is Internet's Future, Say Analysts

Analysts at UK-based ARC Group say in a new report that the wireless industry is showing us the future of the Internet.

Pointing out that the number of mobile subscribers in 1999 (428 million) already greatly exceeds the number of Internet users (241 million), the report's authors suggest that wireless will beat the "fixed Internet" by becoming more user-friendly.

"It is well recognised in marketing circles that consumers do not buy technology, they buy benefits. They want the benefits of the Internet but not the Internet for its own sake," said the report.

"Mobile operators should recognise that they have the opportunity to take control from the computer industry in packaging the Internet," the authors conclude.

According to the ARC Group, the limitations of smaller screen sizes, restricted bandwidth and higher usage costs are not necessarily disadvantages. They compel content providers to simplify their offerings -- to the benefit of users.

The ARC Group's latest report is entitled "Wireless Internet: Applications, Technology and Player Strategies (1999-2004)."