More Than One-Quarter of Wireless Subscribers Switched to Their Current Carrier to Gain Better Network Coverage

comScore Networks' Wireless Industry Report Analyzes Satisfaction,

Switching and Use of Enhanced Features

E-mail is Most Popular Feature among Cell Phone Users with Internet Access

Jan 16, 2007, 00:00 ET from comScore Networks, Inc.

    RESTON, Va., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- comScore Networks, a leader in the
 measuring the digital age, today released a comprehensive report on the
 behavior and attitudes of wireless phone subscribers. The first in a
 two-part series on the wireless industry, this report is based on a survey
 of U.S. consumers who use a wireless phone and analyzes consumers'
 satisfaction with wireless carriers, carrier switching behavior and usage
 of wireless features that go beyond voice communication, including wireless
 Internet. According to the study, consumers are growing ever more attached
 to their cell phones, with 14 percent reporting that they no longer
 subscribe to landline phone service, and 33 percent strongly agreeing they
 "feel lost" without their cell phone.
     Consumer loyalty and satisfaction among wireless subscribers are
 clearly related. According to the study, only 6 percent of respondents who
 were highly satisfied with their carriers stated that they were likely to
 switch carriers at the end of their contract. In contrast, 76 percent of
 respondents who were highly dissatisfied with their carrier were likely to
 switch. Furthermore, 44 percent of the highly dissatisfied respondents were
 very likely to switch carriers prior to the end of their contract,
 signifying that the deterrent effect of penalty fees only goes so far. Not
 surprisingly, high satisfaction strongly correlates with the likelihood to
 recommend a carrier to a close friend or family member. Eighty-eight
 percent of those who were highly satisfied indicated a high probability to
 recommend their current carrier.
     Can You Hear Me Now? "Better Coverage" Primary Reason for Switching
 Cellular Carriers
     Switching to one's current cellular provider was most often prompted by
 a desire for improved network coverage, with 27 percent of respondents
 stating "better coverage" as their primary reason for switching. In fact,
 coverage was the most often cited reason among subscribers of each carrier,
 with the exception of T-Mobile customers, who stated "lower prices" as
 their top reason for switching. Across all subscriber groups, "lower
 prices" was the second most frequently cited reason for swapping plans (14
 percent), followed by switching to a friend/family members' carrier (13
      Primary Reason for Switching to Current Cellular Carrier
      (Among Respondents Who Previously Subscribed to a Different Carrier)
      October 25, 2006 - November 1, 2006
      n = 1,180
      Source: comScore Networks Wireless Report
      Reason                                    Percent of Subscribers
      Better Coverage                                      27%
      Lower Prices                                         14%
      Friends'/Family Members' Carrier                     13%
      Better Minute Level Plans                             9%
      Plan Features                                         9%
      Promotional Offer                                     8%
      For a Specific Phone                                  4%
      Other Reason                                         16%
     Wireless Users Expanding Beyond Voice Communication
     Today's wireless users are evolving their use of their cell phones
 beyond mere verbal communication, with many now subscribing to services
 that enable alternate forms of communication. Half of all wireless users
 (50 percent) subscribe to text-messaging, while 30 percent use their
 wireless phones for e- mail, 22 percent use instant messaging, and 15
 percent use multimedia messaging.
      Percent of Wireless Users Subscribing to Stated Services
      October 25, 2006 - November 1, 2006
      n = 1,708
      Source: comScore Networks Wireless Report
      Feature                                       Percent of Users
      Text Messaging                                       50%
      E-mail                                               30%
      Instant Messaging                                    22%
      Multimedia Messaging                                 15%
     "As rapidly as wireless technologies are evolving, so too are
 consumers' behavior patterns -- especially in terms of enhanced
 functionality beyond voice communications," said Serge Matta, senior vice
 president of comScore Telecommunications Solutions. "Non-voice means of
 wireless communication -- such as text messaging, e-mail instant messaging
 -- are increasingly important to consumers. We're pleased to be able
 provide the industry with insight into usage of these enhanced features,
 and their importance to consumers."
     Consumers Access the Internet from Cell Phones for Timely Information
     Increasing numbers of wireless phones and plans offer Internet access,
 which provides consumers with rich content and increased functionality.
 Most new cell phones are now pre-enabled for Internet access, with 63
 percent of respondents reporting that their phone came with this option.
 However, only 17 percent currently subscribe to the service, indicating
 significant growth potential.
      Wireless Users' Internet Accessibility (via Phone)
      October 25, 2006 - November 1, 2006
      n = 1,708
      Source: comScore Networks Wireless Report
                                                    Percent of Users
      Don't have Internet option/unsure                    37%
      Have Internet option/don't subscribe                 34%
      Currently subscribe to the Internet                  17%
      Previously subscribed to Internet option             12%
     Among consumers who access the Internet via their phones, the leading
 reasons for doing so are clearly related to a desire to stay connected and
 receive timely information. Forty-four percent cited e-mail as their
 primary reason for having online access through their wireless phones,
 while 34 percent went online for weather information, 29 percent for news,
 and 25 percent for sports updates. Users also connect to the Internet for
 cell phone personalization options, including ring tone downloads (35
 percent), games (21 percent), and "wallpaper" selections (16 percent).
 Interestingly, 10 percent of those who subscribe to the wireless Internet
 option do so in order to pay bills.
      Top Reasons for Accessing the Internet from a Wireless Phone
      (Among those who subscribe to Wireless Internet Option)
      October 25, 2006 - November 1, 2006
      n = 290
      Source: comScore Networks Wireless Report
      Feature                                       Percent of Users
      E-mail                                               44%
      Ring Tone Downloads                                  35%
      Weather                                              34%
      News                                                 29%
      Sports                                               25%
      Local Search (i.e. YP)                               24%
      Game Downloads                                       21%
      Travel Information                                   19%
      Wallpaper Downloads                                  16%
      Directory Assistance                                 15%
      Financial Information                                10%
      Pay Bills                                            10%
      Shopping                                              6%
     Wireless industry professionals and members of the media may request a
 copy of the full report at:
     Stay tuned for comScore's second report in this series on the wireless
 industry -- a segmentation analysis of U.S. wireless users -- which will be
 available on January 22, 2007.
     About This Study
     The comScore Wireless Report provides an in-depth look at the wireless
 industry, including the general landscape, competition, and the factors
 that influence consumers' decision processes. Key areas of focus include
 consumer satisfaction, phone feature usage, mobile Internet adoption, and
 wireless customer migration. For the purposes of this report, comScore
 conducted a survey among members of comScore's panel of more than two
 million online consumers who have given comScore permission to track their
 complete behavior on the Internet.
     Methodology Details
     Population:  U.S. Internet users who use cellular phones for personal use
     Time Period:  October 25, 2006 - November 1, 2006
     Survey Mode:  E-mail survey sent to comScore panelists
     Number of Respondents:  1,708
     Contributing analysts:  Serge Matta, Brian Jurutka, Gillian Heltai, and
     Elizabeth Emmart
     About comScore Networks
     comScore Networks is a global leader in measuring the digital age. This
 capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2
 million consumers who have given comScore permission to confidentially
 capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and
 offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research
 that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its
 proprietary technology, comScore measures what matters across a broad
 spectrum of behavior and attitudes. comScore consultants apply this deep
 knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful
 marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. comScore
 services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!,
 Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune
 Interactive, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestle, MBNA, Universal McCann, the United
 States Postal Service, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please
 visit .

SOURCE comScore Networks, Inc.