NEW LIFE FOR BEEPERS: SENDING DATA TO LAPTOPS
It's not as sexy as a cellular telephone, but the lowly beeper has a market that keeps growing. According to a new report by Frost & Sullivan International, a market researcher in New York and London, the ranks of U. S. subscribers should hit 23 million by 1996--more than double 1990's figure of 9.8 million. Industry revenue should rise more modestly, to $2.1 billion by 1996, up from $1.4 billion last year.
One source of growth: sending data to laptop computers over paging frequencies. Michael Vernetti, senior vice-president of Telocator, an industry group, says the market is "just a blip on the screen for now" but could grow quickly. Motorola Inc. recently bought a national paging license that will be used exclusively for data transmission and has begun work with Hewlett-Packard Co. Another paging operator, Telefind Corp. in Coral Gables, Fla., is working with American Telephone & Telegraph Co., which sells the Safari notebook computer. And Cue Paging Corp. in Irvine, Calif., is working with Sharp Corp., maker of the Sharp Wizard electronic organizer.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG