Mobile internet kids: the next telco opportunity?

Mobile penetration among online European consumers aged 12 to 24 has reached 84%. More than the average mobile user, this youth segment is open to what mobile product managers have to offer in terms of advanced features services. After different value proposition projects across Europe, we found that youth use – in most of the cases – their mobiles more often than adults, exploiting a wider range of services and phone features.

We also found that basic SMS is still the most widely used non-voice mobile service in this segment. It also remains by far the most popular method to get content like ring tones and news on the mobile — more than 60% of young consumers use these services. A detailed benchmark of the service penetration in six mature markets can be seen above:

The bottom line here is: 1) Although young consumers are tech-savvy, they only adopt those services that have real benefits and 2) Product managers need to understand more than just the mobile behaviour of this segment to see that untapped opportunities for new service development lie in connecting mobile services with popular online social media.

Best, CVA

UPDATE 19th July 2008: Interesting article coming from “Kids just wanna have fun“. Find details bellow.

Young people ‘consider their mobile phone to be their best friend’ and would choose it over all other forms of electrical entertainment. So says the annual Mobile Life Report from the Carphone Warehouse.

The report is the latest stage of a research project started in 2006 looking at the impact of mobile phones on people’s lives. The fifth report titled, Mobile Life Report 2008: the connected world, questioned 6,000 people in the UK and US to explore the relationship adults and youngsters have with mobile and internet technology.

Dr Sorensen, senior lecturer in Information Systems at LSE said: “We found interesting similarities and differences in our study of two countries. Although we found differences in the use of email, SMS, instant messaging, and landline phones for staying in touch with friends and family between the two countries, we found no differences in the level of mobile phone use for these purposes.”

Europe and South-East Asia have traditionally seen much more advanced use of mobile phones than in the US. Mobile Life 2008, however, found that a significant proportion of North American youth is clearly engaged in intense use of SMS messages.

“The internet and mobile phones play an important role in breaking traditional barriers for engagement. There is an appetite especially amongst the youth across the two countries to engage, discuss, and communicate. This is reflected in over a third of the children in both countries nominating the mobile phone as their most important possession, while the adult generations were most likely to nominate the TV,” stated Sorensen.

The survey generally found a rich appetite for a variety of technology across the two countries, with UK respondents being slightly more likely to own a greater variety of technologies. There was also a strong desire in both countries to replace existing desktop computers with laptops, and little desire for people to limit the technology variety in their lives.

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