Mobile Data Found Expendable When Budget Tight

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Nearly half of Americans would drop their mobile data service completely if faced with a need to cut household spending, according to new data from research firm Strategy Analytics. By contrast, just 10% would be willing to cut their wired broadband service to save money, and only 12% were willing to drop digital television service.

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"Conventional wisdom seems to have dictated that people are so addicted to their mobile voice and data that you'd really have to 'pry it from their cold, dead hands,'” says Ben Piper, director of the Strategy Analytics' multiplay market dynamics service, which conducted the Web survey. "This turns out not to be the case." Pipe admits he was surprised at the "vulnerability of mobile services."

The June study surveyed 1,110 household decision makers regarding their spending intentions in the coming year for various technology services, such as broadband, digital TV, wireline voice, mobile voice and mobile data. Respondents were asked: "Imagine that, due to household budgetary constraints, you have to reduce home entertainment/communications services expenses. How would this affect your spending on…” the various services.

Only about one in five said they would "drop completely" wireline voice, and nearly the same percentage said the same thing about mobile voice. The data indicates that American consumers see mobile voice has inherently more valuable to them than mobile data.

Only 33% said they would "leave unchanged" their mobile data service, by far the lowest percentage for this result. Fifty-one percent said they would leave unchanged mobile voice, and 67% wouldn't touch their current broadband service.

In addition, 17% said they would "scale back to a lower tier" for mobile data, while 28% said the same for mobile voice.

A summary of the results is available online.

This story, "Mobile Data Found Expendable When Budget Tight" was originally published by Network World.

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