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M:Metrics Survey Analyzes Mobile Carrier Demographics

T-Mobile and Sprint show highest percentage of users aged 18-34 (July 25, 2005)

If youre an 18-year-old male who downloads mobile games, youre more than twice more likely to be a customer of Sprint than any other carrier. M:Metrics, the authority on the consumption of mobile content and applications, has found that there are distinct demographic characteristics among the top traditional carriers and MVNOs.

?Our data shows that each carrier attracts its own demographic, which correlates with the consumption of mobile content, observed Seamus McAteer, senior analyst and chief product architect, M:Metrics. ?Its not just MVNOs that are focused on marketing to segments of the market traditional carriers also appear to appeal to subscribers based on age, gender and household income.

M:Metrics found that carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint have a high percentages of younger subscribers, particularly those between the ages of 18-34, the most voracious consumers of mobile content. As a result, mobile content consumption on both networks is above average, particularly in gaming, photo messaging and text messaging.

Nextel's subscriber base is even more niche. Nextel subscribers are 47.4 percent more likely to be a 35 to 44 year old male compared with subscribers on other networks, and the carrier has the highest percentage of users whose household annual income surpasses $100,000 per year.  Interestingly, a Nextel bill is four-times more likely to be paid directly by an employer than a bill from any other carrier.

?Nextels relatively narrow focus is somewhat akin to that of the new group of MVNOs that are readying for launch, said McAteer. ?Whereas the majority of MVNOs focus on youth or family segments, Nextel has been particularly successful at sustaining its considerable lead among high-spending males that use their cell phone for work. Tie-ins with Nascar and the ?Nextel done ad campaign reinforce this narrow focus.

Tracfone and Virgin Mobile, the largest MVNOs in the United States, reflect two extremes of the mobile market. Although consumers of both services spend roughly the same amount on mobile services and have similar household incomes, Virgin subscribers are heavy users of mobile content, whereas Tracfone subscribers are not.  In June less than two percent (1.95 percent) of Tracfone customers downloaded a ringtone, compared with about 20 percent of Virgin customers.

?Tracfone and Virgin are two MVNOs with very different m.o.s, commented McAteer. ?Whereas Tracfones big-box retailer presence has made it an attractive option for older subscribers who keep their phone in the glove box for emergencies, Virgins exclusive content deals with MTV and youthful branding have captivated 13-17-year-olds, who are also more interested in making a fashion statement with their phones.

According to M:Metrics data, with 16.9 percent of its subscriber base being comprised of 13 to 17-year-olds, Virgin has more than twice as many of this age group than average and Tracfone has almost double the average number of subscribers 65 years old and above,  accounting for  22.3 percent of its base.

Conversely, as the largest carriers, Verizon and Cingular reflect the mass market, and attract subscribers who are 45 and older, whom are less likely to consume mobile content.  M:Metrics found that 55.8 percent of all U.S. mobile phone users older than 65 are subscribers to one of these networks. Subscribers in this age group have very low propensity to use even basic data services. For example, only 10.24 percent of subscribers in this age group had sent a text message in a month during the quarter ended June, compared with a market average of 37.28 percent.

M:Metrics monthly Benchmark Survey provides the most detailed and accurate data on the consumption of mobile content, the demographics of mobile media users and benchmarks for the performance of mobile operators in the United States. It is available only to subscribers of the M:Metrics Syndicated Measurement Service. The following is a summary of the surveys key findings for June.

Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright 2005.  Survey subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period endingJune 30,2005, n= 40,110. * Due to a change in definitions on thesurvey, historical ringtone and graphics data is not noted, and the n=13,792 forringtone and wallpaper/screensaver purchases.

About M:Metrics
M:Metrics is the mobile industry authority on the measurement of the consumption, availability and feasibility of mobile content and applications. M:Metrics monthly syndicated research services benchmark the performance of carriers, handset OEMs, platform vendors and content providers, empowering decision makers with highly granular, verifiable measures of subscriber consumption, content availability and pricing and handset capabilities. M:Metrics, Inc. is a private, venture-funded corporation headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices in San Francisco, California.

About M:Metrics Data
Based on continually refreshed samples of nationally representative mobile phone consumers, M:Metrics reports summarize market size, device reach, and key demographic and mobile phone usage characteristics.

The data presented here is drawn from an extensive survey questionnaire that collects specific device model and carrier subscription information from each months sample of mobile phone subscribers, and also drills down into specific details related to current and past usage of various mobile phone applications and content. Data collected from each sample are statistically balanced and projected to the total national population of mobile phone subscribers.

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Related Keywords:M:Metrics, mobile content, MVNOs, demographic, subscribers, mobile content


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