In Wireless Carrier Choice, Price Overtaking Coverage; Mobile Web Use Growing

April 3, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Technology | Telecom

Some 5-15% of customers (depending on the carrier) intend to switch carriers within the next six months? – and lower price will be the primary reason for 19% of them, according to a comScore report on wireless consumer choices.

Wireless Price vs. Coverage

Coverage is still the strongest factor driving consumers’ wireless purchasing decisions, with 22% saying it is the primary reason for choosing their carrier.

However, the number of respondents who cite “better coverage” as the primary reason has decreased 5 percentage points?from a similar comScore study conducted in 2006, whereas the number citing “lower price” has increased 5 percentage points:

comscore-wireless-pricing-primary-reasons-for-switching-to-current-cellular-carrier-feb-mar-2008.jpg

Other reasons that have increased in importance from 2006:

  • Family/Friends subscribe to carrier – 17% (13% in ’06)
  • Plan features – 12% (9% in ’06)
  • Promotional offer – 9% (8% in ’06)

When choosing a mobile plan, cost-savings plays a role. Unlimited off-peak minutes, free in-network calling and the ability to “roll over” unused minutes are the three most important features cited in the study.

Mobile Internet Use

Mobile internet use is growing among existing subscribers, the majority of whom (56%) access the web at least once a day – compared with 36% in 2006:

comscore-wireless-pricing-mobile-internet-access-among-current-mobile-internet-subscribers-feb-mar-2008.jpg

Among the findings:

  • Mobile internet users who access the internet more than once a day doubled from 18% in 2006 to 36% in early 2008.
  • Only 10% of survey respondents using mobile internet said they were dissatisfied with their internet browsing, listing connection speed as the biggest source of dissatisfaction.

Price was the biggest deterrent for those who are not currently mobile internet users, as opposed to lack of need, which was the main reason cited in the 2006 study.

“Overall study results indicate that cellular phones are quickly transitioning from being viewed by consumers as a simple communication device to a multi-functional media and entertainment consumption device,” said Serge Matta,?SVP of comScore Telecommunications Solutions.

“There is a significant opportunity for mobile carriers, advertisers and product developers to capitalize on the industry’s continued trend toward consumer dependence on cell phones.”

About the report: The comScore Wireless Report (published March ’08) is based on a survey of more than 2,000 US wireless cell phone users among members of the comScore two million online consumer panel, conducted Feb. 29 – March 5, 2008. The 2006 comScore study (published Jan. ’07) was conducted Oct. 25 – Nov. 1, 2006, using data from more than 1,700 US wireless users. Key areas of focus for both studies were consumer satisfaction, phone feature usage, mobile Internet adoption, and wireless customer migration.

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