Mobile phone deals ‘killing pager sector’

The pager market is “dying” as sales are crushed by the runaway success of cheap mobile phone packages.

Orange is in discussions about selling its paging arm Hutchison Paging and Motorola says 1998 paging sales were “significantly lower than a year ago in all regions”. It reported a 27 per cent decline in its messaging, information and media product sales in the three months to December 31 1998 over 1997.

A City analyst says: “The market has died because of mobile phones. Pagers look less attractive.”

UK paging company PageOne is combatting the problem by linking its pagers to the Internet.

PageOne’s new Mini-Mail product, which forwards emails from PCs to pagers is an attempt to bolster the market. The company is also in talks with computer retailers to open up new channels of distribution.

The UK has 2 million pager users and 13 million mobile phone users. In the three months to Christmas, mobile operators sold 2.5 million pre-pay mobile packages.

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