June 3, 2002 - With mobile Internet users significantly interested
in accessing, and paying for public Wireless Local Area Network
(WLAN) services, cellular carriers may be in the perfect position
to capitalize, according to In-Stat/MDR (http://www.instat.com).
In a recent survey of a select group of early adopters of wireless
Internet services, the high-tech market research firm found that
virtually all respondents were at least somewhat interested in
using WLANs in public places, with 19% already using them and
33% extremely interested in utilizing them in the future.
"With their billing skills and substantial existing customer
bases, cellular providers are in a unique position to take advantage
of this interest," says Becky Diercks, a Director at In-Stat/MDR.
"By offering public WLAN services, carriers could ultimately
increase their Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), something that
has definitely proved a challenge in the current economic environment."
Converting those who are interested into actual users will be
dependent on whether service providers are able to price the services
affordably (preferably with flat fees) and make them broadly available.
The establishment of roaming agreements between providers will
be crucial to success.
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:
- The majority of survey respondents would prefer to purchase
and be billed for WLAN services by their cellular phone service
- The top three places survey respondents envision using the
service is at airports, hotels, and convention centers - top spots
for business travelers.
- 98% of respondents cited e-mail as something that they would
use public WLAN access for.
The report, "Public Wireless LANs: The Ultimate Complement
to the Mobile Internet" , reveals the results of a survey
of members of In-Stat/MDR's Wireless Internet Panel, regarding
their interest in the use of public WLANs.
Respondents are currently accessing the Internet using a wireless
telephone or other wireless device and tend to be early adopters
of new technologies.