The future of the Internet is wireless, and Internet service providers (ISPs) will have to offer advanced services to mobile users in order to stay competitive, according to an Internet business development executive speaking at the ISP 2000 conference.

ISPs will have to deal with users who don't make a distinction between fixed line Internet use and mobile Internet use. They will want access to their account from wherever they are, said Guido Weishaupt, director of business development for German ISP (Internet service provider) T-Online International, Deutsche Telekom’s online service.

"This will be a significant change in the Internet model, and you'll have to be in the market, in whatever form it may be," said Weishaupt.

"We don't believe there will be fixed line ISPs and mobile ISPs, the customer will want a set of personalized services, accessible over all networks and devices," he said in his speech.

Instead of the "pull" services under the current Internet model, where a user seeks the information they want, there will be a "push" system in the future, where service providers will have to know what the user wants and deliver it when they want it.

Some of the services already available through the convergence of Internet access and mobile services include SMS (short message service) from the Internet to mobile phones and notification of email over mobile phones and pagers. Other services, such as banking over wireless networks, are still catching on in European markets.

"The biggest challenge we have to overcome is information overload," Weishaupt said. "The mobile user has limited amounts of time available as well as a limited amount of facilities."