Wireless Data Service Recommendation for Carriers

January 3rd, 2005

The Yankee Group 2004 Mobile User Survey shows that awareness of wireless data services skyrocketed during the past year. Wireless data constitutes nearly 4% of total service revenue and is still virtually a rounding error for most carriers.

Carrier Recommendations

  • In partnership with their vendor and content provider partners, carriers need to build more value around wireless data. However, they must zero in on the distinct value propositions for different segments and ensure they don’t overpromise and underdeliver.
  • For older adults, productivity is most important. E-mail, wireless web/browsing and location-based services, such as people finder, resonate most with this group.
  • For teens, it’s about staying connected and communicating with friends and family. Teens are the most active texters (more than half are active users) and expressed a willingness to spend more (with their parents’ funding, of course) on messaging (text, mobile IM and pictures).
  • Young adults want a balance of the two, demonstrating strongest interest in personalization/self-expression and communications or staying connected. The applications that resonate most for additional spending are ringtones, text messaging and people finder.
  • Because there is no killer app in wireless data, carriers must ensure they can partner with content providers and vendors to deliver a wide array of applications and content. They should provide content that appeals to different demographic and lifestyle segments, including big brands and niche, localized content.
  • Realign pricing to attract consumers who still feel that wireless data is out of reach. Twenty-three percent of young adults who are not using wireless data indicated it primarily was because the service is too expensive. As the value leader, T-Mobile is well positioned within this segment. Sprint has achieved the leadership position in wireless data ARPU. However, it should consider adding more options (beyond its current one-size-fits-all packaging) to reach more wallet-conscious segments.
  • Prepaid carriers and service providers should bolster their wireless data portfolios. Subsegments of this market, including the youth segment, show a willingness to pay but may be hindered by availability.
  • Carriers should continue to focus on the holistic wireless data experience. Our survey continually shows that wireless data and advanced services do not rank highly when choosing a service provider or when switching service providers. Carriers must break down application silos (browsing, messaging, downloads, etc.) and focus on creating an easy-to-find (discoverability), easy-to-use and integrated experience for the consumer (e.g., handset, usability). If a carrier can do something different and improve the customer experience, wireless data has the potential to become a point of differentiation.

Full Article

Entry Filed under: Wireless Network

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