Making Internet Services Mobile

AMSTERDAM (03/15/2000) - The future of the Internet is wireless, and Internet service providers (ISPs) will have to offer advanced services to mobile users in order to stay competitive, according to an Internet business development executive speaking here at the ISP2000 conference today.

ISPs will soon have to deal with users who don't make a distinction between fixed line Internet use and mobile Internet use, and who want access to their account from wherever they are, said Guido Weishaupt, director of business development for German ISP (Internet service provider) T-Online International AG, Deutsche Telekom AG's online service.

"This will be a significant change in the Internet model, and you'll have to be in the market, in whatever form it may be," said Weishaupt.

"We don't believe there will be fixed line ISPs and mobile ISPs; the customer will want a certain set of personalized services, accessible over all networks and devices," Weishaupt said in his speech.

Instead of the "pull" services under the current Internet model, where a user seeks the information they want, there will be a "push" system in the future, where service providers will have to know what the user wants and deliver it when they want it.

Some of the services have already been available through the convergence of Internet access and mobile services include SMS (short message service) from the Internet to mobile phones, notification of e-mail over mobile phones and pagers. Other services, such as banking over wireless networks, are still catching on in European markets.

"The biggest challenge we have to overcome is information overload," Weishaupt said. "The mobile user has limited amounts of time available as well as a limited amount of facilities."

ISP2000 continues through Thursday in Amsterdam; more information can be found at http://www.isp2000europe.com/. T-Online, in Bonn, can be reached at http://www.t-online.de/. Deutsche Telekom, also in Bonn, can be reached at +49-228-181-4949, or via the Web at http://www.telekom.de/.

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