Six Out of Ten People Would Choose Their Wireless Phone as Their Primary Phone
PARSIPPANY, NJ. September 15, 1999: Depending on the type of household, as many as six out of ten consumers would consider using their wireless phone as their primary phone if costs were equal, says a new Telecom Consumer Report from INSIGHT RESEARCH. As wireless rates continue to fall at an average of 15 percent annually, customers are already using their wireless service more and their landline voice service less.
According to INSIGHT's report The Unwired Consumer: Consumer Telephony in a Wireless World, wireless service will not necessarily supplant landline phones, instead consumers will keep their regular home telephone as a back-up for voice calls and as a means for broadband access to the Internet. Actual substitution, where customers disconnect their landline phones, is still years away. The quality of wireless calls and availability of cells must improve before consumers rely on wireless as their primary service. However, some displacement is already occuring. In Lousiana, 15 percent of Bell South's wireless customers do not have landline phones, and 65 percent of these customers use their wireless phones at home.
"We expect 2000 to be a watershed year for wireless, with U.S. wireless penetration rates finally reaching par with European and Asian countries," says Robert Rosenberg, president of INSIGHT. "But falling prices alone isn't enough incentive to keep new wireless subscriptions rolling in. As long as consumers think wireless phones are a luxury item, usage will remain flat. Carriers must improve reliability and convince consumers that wireless is not a frivolous expense, but an indispensable communications tool," Rosenberg concludes.
Further forecasts of wireless revenue, demographic data of wireless consumers, and trends in wireless pricing are published in The Unwired Consumer: Consumer Telephony in a Wireless World, a 106-page market research study available from INSIGHT RESEARCH for $4,795. An excerpt of this study is offered online here .
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