Early Adopters Could Power Market for Public WLAN Services

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 providers.

- 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.

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