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Event focuses on mobile internet

The wireless industry -- specifically the mobile Internet -- is gearing up for an explosion. And when it happens, sometime over the next few years, it will mean good news for Canadian companies involv...


December 1, 2000  


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The wireless industry — specifically the mobile Internet — is gearing up for an explosion. And when it happens, sometime over the next few years, it will mean good news for Canadian companies involved in this arena. At least this was the feeling of speakers at the “Emerge @ Wireless 2” conference, held by the CWTA (Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association) at the Regal Constellation Hotel in Etobicoke, ON on October 3rd.

“We are just now entering the point now where the popcorn is about to start spilling into the bowl. It hasn’t yet, we are not quite there,” noted tech-business futurist Tod Maffin, president and CEO of MindfulEye.com, who spoke about the industry’s proximity to this “explosion”.

Mafin noted that we are looking at a point in history where there are two growth factors coming to fruition at the same time — product invention and industry development. There are still two phases to complete before we witness the predicted revolution — industry integration and finally, explosion.

Mafin joined Charles Hoffman, CEO of Rogers AT&T Wireless, George Cope, president/ CEO of Clearnet Communications, Pierre Blouin, president/CEO of Bell Mobility, and a list of other speakers that read like a “Who’s Who” in the wireless industry, to address attendees at the event.

While different speakers quoted different studies by various market research firms, the numbers seemed to indicate that there would be approximately 100 million users of wireless Internet services in North America by 2005.

This will translate into rapid technological developments over the next few years, coupled with a host of new wireless products and applications. Already in the works, or on the drawing board, are technologies that would allow a wireless device to function as a bank card, a location finder, a newspaper and a travel agent, among other things.

A few speakers noted that this will result in a lot of competition in this arena, which will ultimately benefit the economy — and the consumer.

“Canada is well-poised to benefit from this latest revolution,” said V. Peter Harder, Deputy Minister, Industry Canada, who spoke about Canada’s role in the global telecommunications playing field and the government’s vision to make Canada the most connected nation in the world.

“With the technological advances of the speed of the Internet era moving along so quickly, the realization of the vision of a totally connected Canada may be just down the road,” said Harder, “much closer than many think.”


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