Most European companies are not willing to pay more for faster wireless web access because they do not believe the benefits would justify the higher charges, according to a Gartner study.
In a survey of 67 chief information officers in Europe, 82 per cent said mobile devices and applications were very important to their businesses, but only 24 per cent are willing to pay an increase for third generation (3G) communications.
"This is bad news for European 3G mobile operators who have paid high premiums for licenses," said Gartner analyst Nick Jones. "While European chief information officers would like the high data rates promised by 3G systems, they are not willing to pay extra for them," he added.
Gartner predicts that by 2003 every ebusiness initiative will have some element delivered across a mobile channel. "When m-business takes off a significant minority of organisations risk being left behind," he warned.
Many businesses believe that it is important to add wireless capabilities to their networks, and that adding mobile support to applications such as email and enterprise resource planning is critical.
Although companies believed that 3G offered benefits such as improved customer satisfaction, cost savings and new business opportunities, the majority of those surveyed remained unconvinced that the upgrade would justify the investment.
Some 76 per cent also said they were concerned about mobile security and privacy, in particular, fragile encryption keys which increase the risk of outside interception.
Another 52 per cent said they are concerned by the support costs of mobile devices, specifically the total cost of ownership of supporting and servicing personal digital assistants, while 39 per cent were worried about the magnitude of mobile phone bills.
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