Wireless data draws strong interest from corporate SA

JOHANNESBURG (01/14/2004) - ICT market analyst, BMI-TechKnowledge Group (BMI-T), has announced the publication of the "Future of Mobile Solutions and Applications in South Africa" report.

The report includes an investigation and forecast of both horizontal applications, and those aligned to specific vertical markets.

Brian Neilson, research director at BMI-T and co-author of the report, says that the rationale behind the publication has been the strong interest shown by the larger corporations in wireless data applications and solutions.

"Sectors such as banking, retail and private security, among others, are rapidly adopting mobile solutions based on cellular networks, while wireless LAN technology is proving to be of strong interest for companies seeking wireless remote access to corporate applications and wireless Internet access in general."

Neilson adds that, in the absence of 3G, which is unlikely to happen in this country any time soon, and despite some soon-to-be-launched "fixed mobile" WLL Internet access platforms, South Africans will look to GPRS and Wireless LANs as the most promising new wireless data platforms. "Indications are that GPRS has not yet been widely adopted, following its launch in 2002, but new developments will encourage growth commencing in 2004," he says.

"Future of Mobile Solutions and Applications in South Africa" further indicates that GSM technology, with applications based on SMS, WIG and WAP is already widely adopted, and has provided the bulk of revenue opportunities for all players in the mobile data "food chain".

"This trend looks set to continue for the future, while GPRS struggles to its feet, and Wireless LAN looks for a substantial revenue model. Looking to the future, SA (South Africa) is still a broadband desert, even in the wired world, which provides opportunities for services, including mobile data services based on fixed wireless technologies," concludes Neilson.

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