Young mobile phone users value data above voice and SMS when they choose a mobile service, according to a survey of over 6,600 consumers conducted by Analysys Mason in the US, UK, Germany, France, Spain and Poland. In particular, the study found that the 18–24 and 25–34 age groups are much more interested than older users in OTT services including VoIP and IP messaging.
This study focused on the opposite demographic from the one Vodafone appears to be targeting with its flat-rate voice and text plan noted above, which has a rather limited data allowance. Not only do young people make extensive use of data-intensive mobile services like games and music, but they are savvy enough and technologically sophisticated enough to know they can go through OTT players such as Skype, Google, Facebook and others, using data rather than minutes to make calls and send texts. We recommend that operators develop more and varied data-only plans in order to generate above average returns from this growing segment of the market. And since the youth market is interested in a broad range of data services, we believe operators should be as creative as possible when designing such plans.