How are teens using their mobile phones?

Mobile usage in Prepaid is becoming more complex due to the introduction of new services and the adoption of services commonly adopted by postpaid users. At the same time, the usage patterns are changing and this process is being accelerated by the new generations, more actively adopting new services. Managing this complexity will require more sophisticated segmentation tools and continuous monitoring of customers behavior in order to identify changes in usage patterns and the need to incorporate new segmentation criteria.

But how does the teen segment behave?

New generations’ (digital users) usage and habits are transforming the traditional mobile phone use. This trend is increasing year by year, due to new generations unveiling as more active as data users and social networkers

On top, the introduction of new services and devices in principle conceived for postpaid (Mobile Internet, Mobile Broandband, iPhone/ smarthones, iPAD, etc.) are turning the prepaid segment into a more sophisticated cluster in terms of mobile usage. This can clearly be seen in the image bellow (thanks to Penn Olson, fantastic blog by the way):

how teens are using their mobile phonesInteresting right? The mobile phone market for teens is starting to move towards an even younger demographic – e.g. Mayca, my 8-years old daughter, is not only demanding a mobile phone for herself but a whole set of connected services I never though could interest a child at such a young age (and she’s not a teen yet!).

Net, net, the highlights in how this segment behave include: (1) 1 out of 5 teens access social networks on their mobile phones, (2) 11% of teens buy things through their mobile phone, (3) 1 out of 3 sends more than 100 text messages per day and (4) females teens send almost 3 times more text messages than males. If you, like me, have young trouble-makers at home, you should be aware of what’s happening in this industry: a complete fragmentation of the prepaid segment (in terms of usage) compared to what we see nowadays or we saw in the past.

Does this mean that voice is dead? Not really. According to PewInternet, voice will remain as the application used for “remote surveiance” purposes. When teens use the phone for calling, they are most likely to be calling parents, with 68% of teens with cell phones saying they talk to their parents on their cell phone at least once a day. Talking with friends is a close second to parents, with 59% of teens with cell phones saying they talk with friends once a day or more often. About half of teens who have a boyfriend or girlfriend call them on a daily basis. Brothers, sisters and other family members are the least likely to be called on daily basis, with just about a third of teens who have siblings (33%) saying they talk at least once day. As with texting, only 4% of teens report never calling their friends.

Interestingly, while 20% report never texting their parents, only 4% of teens with cell phones say that they never call their parents or guardians. Thus while intergenerational texting is not necessarily uncommon, voice interaction between parent and child via the mobile phone is substantially more common.

As a final note, it seems that girls talk more frequently with friends on their cell phones than boys (well, this is not really something new, right?). Girls are much more likely to talk frequently to their friends on the phone than are boys – 40% of girls with cell phones say they talk to friends several times a day, compared with 26% of boys who talk with friends that frequently. So we’d better start to think on consumption-control and pricing strategies to reduce the bill, but that will be a topic for a different post.

Enjoy the reading. Best, CVA.

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