Study Finds Mobile Phone Users Embracing Mobile Data Services

Mobile phone users are increasingly comfortable with mobile data services but continue to worry about content and price, according to the latest Mobinet study of how 4,000 mobile phone users in 21 countries use their phones. The study has been conducted eight times since 2000 by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney and the Judge Business School, Cambridge University.

The study found more than half of mobile phone handsets are less than one-year old and have robust multimedia capabilities that are increasingly understood by their users. Fifty-six percent of these multimedia mobile phone users said they use their phones to access the Internet or check e-mail at least once a month — a significant jump from the 36% who said they did so in the 2004 Mobinet study. Nearly two-thirds of users said new services and functions were easy to understand and enjoyable to use. Even among older mobile phone users, less than half complained that new functions were difficult to use.

“The growing penetration of new multimedia phones is the catalyst for mobile data adoption,” said Mark Page, A.T. Kearney vice president and leader of the Mobinet study. “There is a clear relationship between the average revenue per user and the age of the phone the customer uses. People who have recently replaced their handsets are more likely to be heavier users of data services.”

Mobile phone users continue to send more pictures, photos and video clips through the use of multimedia messaging services (MMS). One third of multimedia phone owners now use MMS at least monthly, and MMS is used regularly by nearly half of all 19- to 24-year-olds. The study concludes MMS has significant room to grow when compared with traditional text messaging, or SMS, which today is used by nearly 90% of mobile phone users regularly.

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