The State of the Mobile and Remote Worker Environment Is Strong, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA — OCTOBER 30, 2000 — The U.S., Latin America, and Western Europe mobile and remote populations are growing. According to IDC, the U.S. mobile and remote population will increase at a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), from 39 million in 2000 to 55 million in 2004. Latin America will experience the largest mobile and remote population growth, increasing at a CAGR of more than 28%, from 5.1 million in 1999 to 17.4 million in 2004. Western Europe's mobile and remote population will increase nearly 28%, from 8 million to 27 million during the same time.


"Technology is a critical enabler for all mobile and remote users across all regions," said Stephen Drake, senior research analyst for IDC's Wireless and Mobile Enterprise Access program. "As adoption of handheld devices increases, as wireless and broadband technologies for business travelers improve, and as solutions to deliver mission-critical applications to home workers get enhanced, mobile and remote user growth will skyrocket."

IDC says the number of U.S. mobile professionals will surpass that of work extenders – employees who require irregular access to their corporate office on an after-hour/weekend basis – in 2003. By 2004, mobile professionals will make up 34% of the U.S. mobile and remote population, followed by work extenders (31%), telecommuters (21%), and mobile data collectors (14%).

In Latin America, the increasing number of portable PCs will drive mobile and remote worker growth. In Western Europe, a combination of telecom liberalization, governmental support, and intense IT-related technology investment will powerfully drive and expand mobile and remote workers, including telecommuters. According to IDC, the number of Western European telecommuters will increase at a CAGR of 21%, from 3.7 million in 1999 to 9.4 million in 2004.

"The availability of anytime, anywhere connectivity continues to alter the workforce landscape," Drake said. "In the United States, the technology is in place for businesses to ensure that their employees have ubiquitous access to these resources. Outside the United States, cultural, political, and technological inhibitors will need to be overcome for the mobile and remote user environment to reach its full potential."

IDC recently published three reports that discuss the outlook for the mobile and remote worker market. U.S. Mobile and Remote Worker Market Forecast and Analysis, 1999-2004 (IDC #B23020) defines the mobile and remote worker opportunity in the United States. U.S. and non-U.S. trends are provided. Forecasts are provided through 2004 by segment. Latin America Mobile and Remote Worker Market Forecast and Analysis, 1999-2004 (IDC #B22713) examines the state of the mobile and remote environment. A profile of the mobile worker is provided. Barriers and accelerators to Latin American mobility are analyzed. Data is forecast through 2004 for six countries and the rest of Latin America. The Future of Work: Western European Mobile and Remote Worker Market Forecast and Analysis, 1998-2004 (IDC #B22037) looks at the market size in this region and identifies the IT, user, demographic, and cultural factors influencing mobile and remote user growth. Forecasts are provided through 2004, segmented by 13 countries.

To purchase any of the three reports, contact Bruce Atlas at 1-800-343- 4952, extension 4053, or at

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

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