WAP portals are not sufficient to drive site traffic

WAP site owners should not depend on mobile portals to drive traffic to their sites, according to a warning recently issued by Forrester Research.

Companies interviewed by Forrester during a recent survey said they used mobile portals as a way to increase the number of visitors to their own sites. Forester warned, however, that due to the different requirements of mobile users, portals would not have the same effect on the wireless Web as on the PC-based Web.

Lacking the ability to drive traffic, mobile portals will generate income by selling premium content or driving indirect revenue, such as extra operator airtime, Forrester analysts explained. The company's report predicts that rapid consolidation will occur in the WAP portal market, within which only some Web incumbents and operator ports will survive.

Instead of using portals to increase traffic, mobile sites should link up with other sites that provided closely-related services, the Forrester analysts said. For example, a WAP service that provided soccer scores could also include links to a ticket-booking service for soccer matches.

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