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Funds Expected to Race to Wireless

Sixty-four percent of mutual fund companies intend to offer shareholders mobile Internet services in the next 12 months, according to a study released last week by kasina LLC, an Internet consulting company in New York.

The report, "The Mobile Internet: Should Fund Companies Care?" describes the impact wireless Internet will have on mutual fund companies. Only two percent of online U.S. mutual fund investors currently use wireless Internet devices, the report said. However, that number is expected to increase to 48 percent within the next year, the report said.

Technological factors that slow adoption of wireless Internet access include the fact that existing devices are difficult to navigate, have small screens and that existing wireless phone services are inadequate, according to the study. Eighty percent of all fund companies with a mobile strategy either currently use or plan to use outside vendors to help them initiate mobile Internet services, the study said.

Over 400 mutual fund companies were surveyed for the study.