IDC Envisions a Time When Majority of Internet Access Will Be Through Wireless Devices

FRAMINGHAM, MASS. – APRIL 10, 2000 – According to IDC, it is easy to envision a time in the next few years when the majority of Internet access will be through wireless and not wired devices. IDC estimates that more than 35 million U.S. PC households are online but there are more than 75 million cellular/PCS subscribers and over 40 million paging subscribers.

"IDC predicts that by mid-2001, all digital cellular/PCS handsets shipped in the world will be WAP-capable," said Iain Gillott, vice president, Worldwide Consumer and Small Business Telecommunications research at IDC. "So, it's very realistic that the majority of Internet access will shift so that it is through wireless and not wired means."

IDC has forecast that by the end of 2002, there will be more wireless subscribers capable of Internet access than wired Internet users. When this happens, there will need to be a fundamental shift in the thinking of the Web community and the IT industry as a whole. "Once there are more wireless Internet users than wired users, Web masters may first consider the needs of the wireless users and secondly, the wired PC users," Gillott said. "Today, Internet sites have to be retro-fitted for wireless users, but three years from now, it is conceivable they might have to be redesigned for wired users."

Factors driving the shift to wireless Internet access include e-customer care for carriers, e-billing, and notification services.

IDC recently published Wireless Access to the Internet, 1999: Everybody's Doin' It (IDC #W21187). This report examines current interest in wireless Internet access and looks at the interfaces, platforms, devices, portals, and services being used as well as the information content provided. The report analyzes market trends and the market's future. Forecasts are provided for the number of subscribers and the transaction value of wireless Internet services. The wireless application protocol is discussed and profiles of vendors that offer wireless Internet service offerings, access devices, browsers, servers, solutions, and content are included. To order a copy of the report, contact Bruce Atlas at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 4053 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

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

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