December 22, 2000

More than 50 million Internet users in Latin America will access the web via mobile devices by 2005 - making wireless Internet access in the region almost as widespread as access from PCs, says Jupiter Research.

Jupiter analysts, however, caution local web ventures that mobile access will serve as a way to extend existing relationships and build customer loyalty - not a way to break into new audiences or generate new revenue streams. To tackle this topic and address other key issues impacting the fastest track to profitability in Latin America, Jupiter Events, the leading provider of conferences for the global digital economy, hosts its annual Internet Commerce Forum (ICF) Latin America, with more than 25 of the region's digital economy leaders, change agents and notable executives as well as renown Jupiter analysts.

"In Latin America, more than in the U.S., a substantial population of consumers will emerge who access the Internet only or primarily from a mobile phone. But for most online businesses in Latin America, the biggest payoff of mobile access will be in driving loyalty with existing users," said Lucas Graves, senior analyst at Jupiter Research. "Jupiter's upcoming forum will be key to drill down further into the opportunities for companies that want to capitalize on the Latin American Internet market and achieve longevity in the region."

Participants to Address the Following Key Issues Facing the Region:

-- Online Transactions: The need for local businesses to drive credit card payments, implement alternative payment systems and capitalize on increased mobile Internet usage to move completed transactions. While Jupiter expects the number of Internet users in Latin America to more than quadruple and the amount they spend online to exceed eight billion dollars, convincing consumers to complete transactions online is a genuine problem in the region.

-- B-to-B: The need to enter Global Net markets to stay competitive and develop Internet based business systems to meet the needs of both Latin America and the world.

-- Access: The challenges of access - paid providers must gain access share while free providers need to turn a profit.

-- Online Advertising: The uphill battle content players face competing for scarce online ad budgets in the fledgling online economies of the region.

"With a population of 500 million and one of the highest online growth rates in the world, Latin America is poised to be a significant Internet force," said Gene DeRose, vice chairman, president and COO of Jupiter Media Metrix. "However, there are unique challenges and opportunities that will either spell success or failure in this region. The Jupiter Internet Commerce Forum - Latin America is the opportunity for executives and industry professionals to experience the quality of Jupiter research while networking and sharing insights with peers and top-level speakers."

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