December 2nd, 2002
Data Services Radically Changing The Mobile Industry
The wireless market can be segmented into voice and data services, with voice revenues and services dwarfing that of data by orders of magnitude. There are more than a billion people on the planet using mobile communications. In the US alone, there are some 150 million Americans paying ~ $50/month for service. This is a small miracle in itself. The mobile market has the most complex supply chain of any industry making purchase decisions difficult. Which phone can be used with which network? Can I send a message to a Sprint end point if I am using Verizon? What is the tariff this month on this service? Not only is the purchasing complex, but for some operators, there are hidden penalties for canceling service. But even with these hurdles, the average number of cell phone minutes used per month in the U.S. jumped 74% to 422 (about seven hours) last year. This is up from 242 in 1999, according to J.D. Power.
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