Mobile Phone Users Use Significantly More Minutes in 2000, IDC Say

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 9, 2000 – The amount of wireless minutes being used by U.S. households per month grew significantly in 2000 over 1999. Household cellular/PCS usage increased to an average of 247 minutes per month, compared with 155 in 1999 and 89 in 1998. This is one of many key findings from IDC's annual Personal Wireless Communications User Survey.

"We are seeing this dramatic growth for a variety of reasons," said Charul Vyas, research analyst with IDC's Wireless and Mobile Communications program. "The main reason is that rate plans are becoming more affordable, enabling end users to spend more time on their phones without spending more money. On average, total monthly household cellular/PCS spending increased only 10% over 1999."

Other findings from IDC's survey include:

· More than one-third (35%) of the users said their household had two or more phones; nearly 10% said they had three or more.

· Most respondents purchased their handsets from the cellular/PCS phone company store (34%), followed by the company's direct sales force and electronics stores.

· The most influential factors in the purchase of a phone were special offers or promotions (19%); features of the handset influenced only 15% of purchases.

· Contract commitments are on the decline. Roughly 60% of respondents reported having to commit to a contract, which is 10 percentage points lower than in 1999.

For its Personal Wireless Communications User Survey, IDC conducted telephone interviews with 900 cellular/PCS users. The many topics addressed include cellular/PCS use and spending, use of prepaid cellular/PCS, distribution channels, and interest in new services such as wireless Internet access. The report, Personal Wireless Communications User Survey, 2000 (IDC #B22094), presents the survey results cross-tabulated by RBOC region, state/multistate regions, and usage, work, and personal demographics. Because of the large number of data tables, the report is available in spreadsheet format, enabling researchers to quickly and easily search for information.

To purchase this report, please contact Bruce Atlas at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4053 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

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