2001 set to be a landmark year for mobile Internet access in Ireland, IDC says

LONDON – OCTOBER 29, 2001- "On the move" Internet access is undoubtedly a driving force in the current phase of the information age, with customers and staff looking for improved, real-time access to information and services from the corporate sector. According to recent research from IDC, the development of mobile access for customers remains in its infant stage in Ireland, with less than 10% of companies offering websites accessible via mobile devices. However, IDC believes 2001 will be a landmark year as many more Irish companies embrace these technologies and provide website access to mobile device users.


IDC's eWorld data indicates that penetration levels of mobile Internet access availability should rise from 8% to 27% (and as high as 41% in large companies) by the end of 2001. "The primary driver to deliver mobile Internet content is the ability to provide core functionality such as detailed information about the organization's products or services," said Phil Odgers, senior project manager with IDC. "Following this is key functionality, such as online ordering and special content/services for registered visitors," added Odgers. For employees, the provision of mobile Internet content is largely focused on email provision, with 18% of sites already having implemented this and a further 18% to add this before the end of the year. Other content types, such as inventory status, corporate directories and group calendaring are slowly being made available.

"However there are considerable sets of respondent sites that have no plans for such mobile data provision," said Odgers. 74% of sites have either have no current plans to implement customer-based mobile content or they don't know if they will and 63% of sites have no plans to offer email to mobile employees.

Further findings from the study

* Despite the steady shift of traditional channel-oriented hardware and systems vendors towards direct channels, the majority of sites are very reliant on the indirect channel for sourcing IT products and services.

* Despite the growing importance of the Internet, the expected shift towards newer and faster access technologies, such as broadband, has yet to appear.

* Only 10 websites provided content in Irish Gaelic and these were community, rather than business oriented.

* 41% of survey respondents are not aware of "an Internet marketplace, exchange or trading community through which multiple businesses buy and sell goods and services.

* A key issue for many IT departments is applications integration ? moving towards web-enabling, browser-based technologies and the availability of such web-enabled software applications on the corporate intranet.

The 2001 edition of IDC's IT Trends and Expenditure in Ireland report (IDC # V02H), incorporating the new eWorld study, provides a comprehensive reference resource detailing the views, attitudes, intentions, and IT spending patterns of Irish companies of all sizes operating in a wide range of industry sectors. The report is based on data from IDC's eWorld 2001. The report also presents IDC's views and forecast of the total Irish IT market from 2000 to 2005. This report is available to purchase for $4,750 from UK Sales on +44 (0)20 8987 7100 or from Keith Gaffney, Business Development Manager, IDC Ireland on +353 (0)1 882 4440 or kgaffney@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.