Search-Engine Vendor: Wireless Web Pages Grew

FRAMINGHAM (05/03/2000) - Inc. today said the number of wireless Web pages offering simplified content that can be easily read on cell phones or personal digital assistants jumped from 150,000 to 1.5 million in the last month.

But industry analysts called the reported increase suspiciously large for a medium that hasn't even attracted very many users in the U.S. so far. is a Durham, North Carolina, vendor that makes a search engine capable of seeking out Web pages written in Wireless Markup Language (WML). Jud Bowman, the company's president, said the tenfold increase in the number of WML-based Web pages from the beginning of April to the start of May "quantifies what wireless experts have been predicting for a long time: The wireless Web is truly the Internet's next frontier."

But Becky Diercks, director of wireless research at Cahners In-Stat Group in Newton, Massachusetts, said the growth in wireless Web pages reported by "seems awfully large to me. . . . That's more than the number of wireless data customers (in the U.S.)" Diercks added that most early users of the wireless Web are focusing on simple uses such as viewing news headlines and stock quotes. "Even if there are that many pages, I don't think they are being looked at that much," she said.

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