Mobile Phone Service - US - February 2012
Cellular networks are headed toward carrying an analogous weight in the 21st century to the role played by trains in the 19th century and the automobile in the 20th century—cellular access is becoming the defining feature of consumer trends ranging from social shopping to mobile video, and in general, cellular networks are the backbone on which societal changes will be based. The financial weight of these services is likewise dramatic. Racing toward $286 billion in sales by 2016, cellular revenue to consumers alone will likely outweigh revenue from new car and truck sales by the end of the decade. Totaling handset sales with hardware and cellular service sales already gives a market larger than the entire new car and truck market.
Yet in spite of its established revenue stream and nearly universal penetration, major players in the industry are having trouble turning a profit, while smaller players are spending fortunes on staid campaigns that pay more heed to industry myths and internal perceptions than the realities of consumer needs and behavior. Further, communication services are perhaps the ultimate widget, being pipelines differentiated solely by price, reliability, and speed. As such, missteps in branding are more critical than in arenas governed more by less definitive distinctions in product offerings.
Mintel’s report aims to keep agencies and carriers in step with the pulse of the market through the examination of the following subjects, among others:
- Where can growth come from when virtually all adults are already subscribed? Are prepaid plans taking over? How can the family plan evolve?
- Where does pricing fit in to carrier selection? Which consumers are most important to the industry overall, and to specific brands in particular?
- How do consumers select their carrier? How do they perceive the leading brands? How are brands marketing themselves? Are brand messages effective, alienating, cluttered, or ignored?
- Which consumers are most willing to switch carriers, and what type of trade-offs are they willing to accept when selecting between a variety of powerful value propositions?
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* This is a sample representation of the report layout and does not reflect the research included in this report.
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