The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. The country’s wireless operators have done a good job at convincing at least some consumers that the wireless Internet is the wave of the future, according to a soon-to-be-released market research report.  Consumer survey results contained in the Decima Publishing report show that about 18 per cent of Canadians plan to purchase a wireless device in the next year, with nearly 16 per cent indicating that they are going to subscribe to wireless Internet services within the 12 months. While the latter figure obviously represents early adopters, those are still impressive numbers considering the market is only in its infancy. There are already about seven per cent of Canadians using the wireless Internet. For wireless Internet services to have a chance of making it into the mainstream of Canadian consciousness, however, the carriers have to find the right model for charging consumers for using these services. A couple of models are currently being used. One is charging by the minute – a simple approach, but one that can be costly for consumers. Another model that has recently been introduced in Canada is charging by the kilobit of downloaded data. However, the everyday consumer may not easily understand this approach. And how much is 2Mb of data anyway? According to Microcell, it is 500 emails without attachments or about 20 with attachments. Of course, that depends on the size of the attachments. Word files may not take up a lot of space, but spreadsheet and PDF files can be bandwidth hogs. Finding out what Canadians are willing to pay for is going to be a matter of trial and error for wireless Internet providers. There’s no doubt that the carriers will experiment with several models until they find one that is palatable to a majority of the population and thus delivers solid revenues. How long that might take is anyone’s guess. But with true 3G services several years away, the carriers at least have time to gauge the public’s interest and willingness to pay for the wireless Internet.