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Aussie business slaps WAP on the back

Despite a gloomy take-up of WAP services among consumers, large organisations in Australia have voted in favour of deploying wireless connectivity for business-to-employee (B2E) communications.

Despite a gloomy take-up of WAP services among consumers, large organisations in Australia have voted in favour of deploying wireless connectivity for business-to-employee (B2E) communications.

AUSTRALIA (ZDNet Australia)-- Research by enterprise portal software provider Corechange has revealed there is a large demand in the local market for wireless connectivity within a business via mobile access portals, which provide the framework for mobile capability through WAP phones and PDAs.

Among the 72 organisations surveyed - with over 1000 employees - 22 percent said they would deploy wireless access capabilities in their organisation immediately. A further 21 percent said they would consider it in the next 12 months.

"These are remarkably high figures when you consider that a suitable wireless data infrastructure doesn't really exist," Corechange Asia Pacific director of business development Gari Johnson said.

The telecommunications infrastructure to support wireless connectivity within Australian organisations is not available, however, the demand is apparent.

The survey supports a PricewaterhouseCoopers prediction that wireless data will be a "killer application" for large organisations in 2001 to 2003.

But a recent survey by Taylor Nelson Sofres Interactive (TNS Interactive) revealed that Australia is lagging behind the rest of Asia in its take-up of WAP, due to a lack of broadband services and 3G technologies being available.

"The concern is that WAP phones have not taken off in Australia to the extent that they have in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan,

"However, technological advances made via broadband services will certainly help to speed up Internet access via mobile phones, especially with the introduction of GPRS and 3G technologies," TNS Interactive Australia managing director Martin James said.

Corechange's Gari Johnson said although Telstra has introduced GPRS capabilities, the telecommunications infrastructure is not really happening.