Despite the hype surrounding wireless web gadgets, more than half of consumers are put off by the high access charges, slow service and small screen size.
However, according to a study of 31,000 users in the UK, US, Finland, German and Japan, the security issues associated with the wireless web appear to be less of a concern.
The survey, carried out by Accenture, found that fewer than 13 per cent of users in each of the European countries have privacy concerns, compared to 25 per cent in Japan.
Some 5 per cent of users said they access the web using wireless devices because they like the freedom and flexibility of the mobile internet and the capability of making online purchases, although less than one per cent have bought items in this way.
Richard Siber, an analyst at Accenture, said: "Because of current device and access limitations, including screen size and slow transmission speeds, widespread web surfing and shopping on mobile devices has yet to arrive."
Of those that have purchased online, users in the US had the highest incidence of online buying, at 12 per cent, followed by Germany at nine per cent, Japan with seven per cent, the UK at six per cent and Finland at five per cent.
About 40 per cent of users in Europe and the US said they believe that concept of the mobile internet was either "somewhat appealing" or "very appealing." In Japan, where 81 per cent of respondents said they use wireless web, about 66 per cent said they are attracted by the prospect of the mobile internet.
The study also confirmed that the US is at least two to three years behind Europe and Japan in overall wireless communication technologies.
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