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Wireless Web Waiting To Pop

CNET has its own mobile story, focusing on the future of its Internet technology. It almost seems like our birthright in an age of instantly available technology services to have a simple, robust means of information gathering at our fingertips. It is coming, but as with all things mobile in the U.S., it's coming slowly. While some will argue that the mobile Internet is already here, others will note how poor the user experience is and how minimal the offerings of wireless application protocol (WAP) Web sites are. In fact, some say WAP needs to be replaced altogether, suggesting that a "dot-mobi" domain for Internet sites optimized for mobile surfing might be a better idea. The general consensus is that the mobile Web is going to be big. Currently, most of the mobile data passed around comes from consumer messaging services, like SMS text messages or email from BlackBerrys. Otherwise, mobile Web use remains minimal: just 18 percent of subscribers tried to surf the Web on their phones in April, according to a Yankee Group survey. One of the major reasons is that most consumers don't have access to the faster third-generation (3G) wireless networks, which greatly improve both the quality of speed and the Web pages. Europe, Asia and parts of Africa are still far more advanced than the U.S. in mobile technology and services. As such, mobile virtual network operators, like Mobile ESPN and Helio, struggle to sign consumers. They're a little ahead of the game, and their services are limited by the speed of the networks on which they operate. (ESPN and Helio both use Sprint Nextel.) Until the situation improves, mobile providers need to wait for consumers and the wireless network operators to catch up




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