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Byline: MIKE ANGELL
As the U.S. cell phone industry looks for ways to get customers to spend more money, many are ready to bet on instant messaging.
Instant messaging is a hit with desktop computer users. Some 80 million people in the U.S. alone use IM services, analysts estimate. Some 7 billion instant messages are sent daily worldwide, mostly via desktop PCs.
The wireless industry hopes to switch much of that instant message volume to their networks, thus boosting revenue. Instant messaging could be one of the biggest non-voice uses of cell phones -- even trumping the hot wireless e-mail field.
Instant messaging "will drive a lot of …