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RoW International Short Takes

News | 07/22/2002 4:00 am EDT

Wireless penetration to double: new report
A new report by IDC Canada Ltd. predicts that wireless penetration in Canada will double within the next three years and will top the 70%-mark by 2006. That translates into more than 22 million users compared to the approximately 11 million that own cell phones today. While the market research firm’s projections are certainly aggressive, recent indications show that subscriber additions are actually slowing from subscriber growth than in previous years. Last year, RoW highlighted a potential slowdown in subscriber growth (RoW, Aug. 7/01). In comparison, a recent survey by InfoTech projects that U.S. wireless penetration will grow to 67% from its 2000 level of 40%. IDC also anticipates the market will increase in size from $6.1 billion to $9.3 billion over the same period. IDC analyst Lawrence Surtees said consumers are being lured to the wireless world by low prices, a variety of devices and newer applications. Canadians enjoy some of the lowest prices for wireless services in the world. Penetration will double, he predicts, adding that the Canadian wireless market isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. It is widely accepted that the youth market will drive the market penetration upwards in the near-term and will also drive the adoption of wireless data services in the long-term. IDC projects that the wireless data market will account for only 4%, or $386 million, of the total wireless market by 2006.

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