Wireless e-mail will have 350 million users by 2010

There will be 350 million business and consumer users of wireless e-mail worldwide by 2010, says Stamford, CT-based information technology research and advisory company Gartner.

The latest research report from Gartner has predicted that the increasing accessibility of products and services will allow 350 million business and consumer users access to wireless e-mail by 2010, meaning that 20 percent of all e-mail accounts will be wireless enabled.

Across the world, there are fewer than 20 million business users of wireless e-mail today, representing just two percent of all e-mail accounts.

Gartner expects wireless email to reach commodity status by 2012.

As consumer technologies continue to infiltrate the enterprise, because of IT computerization, a growing number of employees will have the ability to access corporate email and other applications from personal devices, says Gartner.

Meanwhile, Gartner says, a reverse-computerization trend is creating a new demand for mobile email outside the enterprise boundaries.

Traditional business e-mail devices are transforming into personal devices, spanning both professional and consumer life.

"By 2012, wireless e-mail products will be fully interoperable, commoditized and have standard features. They will be shipping in larger volumes at greatly reduced prices," said Monica Basso, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement.

What will bolster the adoption of wireless e-mail is convergence of technology. According to Basso, many users are frustrated with the volume of communications tools they have to deal with, and, as a result, companies are converging technologies to create new products.

"Convergence will happen on the client side, hiding technology complexity from users and allowing them to focus on messaging content. By 2017, wireless e-mail will be fully integrated with other messaging tools into personal, converged communications. Companies like Microsoft, IBM, Nokia, and RIM are already taking some steps in this direction," she said.

Gartner predicts that the increasing convergence of corporate and consumer technologies may leave many user organizations exposed to increased security risks.

Basso advised, when planning a wireless e-mail strategy, organizations must evaluate the impact of wireless e-mail on the IT organization.

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