[LightWave] UK - WAP Users Starting To Split Into 2 Groups

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From: Linda (joelinda1@home.com)
Date: Sun Jun 11 2000 - 10:22:41 PDT


Subject : UK - WAP Users Starting To Split Into 2 Groups - Report 06/08/00
Date : Thu, 8 Jun 2000 11:00:12 PDT
From : newsbytes@clari.net (NB / LON)
Keywords : Bureau-LON, Telecommunications

LONDON, ENGLAND, 2000 JUN 8 (NB) -- By Sylvia Dennis, Newsbytes. A
report published today says that, by this time next year, all new mobile phones sold in
the UK will be WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)-enabled. Driving this, the Forrester
Research study, entitled "UK Mobile's Split Personality," says, will be the falling cost
of WAP-enabled mobiles. By early next year, in fact, because of the sheer volumes
involved, the report predicts that the cost of WAP phones will have fallen to the same
level as standard mobiles. By 2005, the sale of mobile Internet users will have swelled
the ranks of users to 41 million users in the UK. Caroline Sceats, an analyst with the
research firm, said that, as the UK's mobile Internet matures, users will fall into two
groups - multi- device users and single-device users. "Multi-device users will have
alternative methods of accessing the Internet such as a PC and digital television, and
their expectations of WAP will be shaped by their experience of fixed-line Internet,"
she said, adding that, by 2005, there will be 28 million multi-device users in the UK.
"These users will thrive on multi-channel integration, and to counter initial negative
experiences of WAP, businesses must use mobile to give compelling customer
service across all channels. Significantly, the PC will remain center-stage for
information-rich purchasing, searching and browsing with this group," she said. Sceats
went on to say that single-device users will only have the Internet through their mobile
phones, and this will be achieved through a natural cycle of upgrading their handsets
over time. "This single-device market will exceed 4 million by 2002, reaching 12 million
in 2005," she said. The Forrester report says that, at present, network operators have
the strongest brand relationships with single-device users through their control of the
billing infrastructure, and operators will seize this opportunity to become mobile
eCommerce enablers through existing billing relationships. At the same time, the
report says, single-device users' lack of alternative devices will bolster "brick and
mortar" outlets, creating opportunities for incumbent retailers to push back against
pure-play Internet companies. The study concludes that revenue models from WAP
are not the same as traditional online business models. Retail revenues from the
mobile Internet, Forrester says, will prove difficult to attain because consumers will be
unwilling to make complex purchases over the mobile Internet, although simple
transactions such as ticket purchases and stock trading can be successful. Content
providers, meanwhile, cannot create revenues without a billing interface - although
personalized content may be able to sustain subscription fees. In addition, because
WAP users are unlikely to use their handsets to browse the Internet, WAP will not
bring more airtime to operators. "Instead, successful WAP propositions will deploy
'trigger services' to make all channels more effective," said Sceats. Sceats went on to
say that the most appealing services link the intimacy of the mobile phone with the
richness of the Web. Well- executed trigger services will build on existing channel
strengths, form only part of a customer interaction - not all of it - and bring new value to
users. The report says that triggering interactions to the Web offers the best platform
for compelling service and WAP needs the Web to create personalized services and
increasing loyalty. Additionally, trigger services will leverage existing call center
operations and location-based trigger services will support offline brands, enabling
multi-channel companies to trigger interactions to physical locations. For its research,
Forrester spoke with 30 UK executives, benchmarked 37 current WAP offerings and
spoke with a further 23 network operators, handset manufacturers, fixed-line Internet
companies, and technology vendors. Forrester's Web site is at
http://www.forrester.com . Reported by Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com .

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