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Wireless Services For SMB Market Seen Topping $18 Billion

Major wireless carriers in the U.S. are offering new services to the SMB market as they expect to cash in on the market's growing sophistication using business-oriented services, according to a report released Wednesday by AMI-Partners.

Noting that the leading wireless providers – Cingular Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless – are increasingly focusing on wireless data applications, the market research firm said the segment's revenues should pass the $18 billion mark this year.

"Coverage, customer care, reliability, predictable voice bundles, flexible pricing plans, unlimited mobile to mobile minutes are all important aspects of package plans that appeal to SMB customers," said Janet Stone, AMI-Partners research director in New York, in a statement.

Noting that the current 400-700 kbps data rate being offered increasingly by wireless service providers may not exactly qualify as "broadband," but it represents a "tipping speed" for many users to carry out successful business tasks, AMI-Partners stated.