Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Two-thirds of U.S. Mobile Consumers Won’t Pay more than $50/Month for Mobile Data

New Research “Mobile Data and Applications” Shows Consumer Trends and Challenges as Mobile Operators Monetize Data Usage

Parks Associates research finds two-thirds of U.S. consumers planning to purchase a smartphone are unwilling to pay more than $50 per month for mobile data plans while almost 50% of smartphone users do not know how much mobile data they use each month. The firm's analysts say these findings, from the report Mobile Data and Applications: Market Update, highlight the risks to mobile operators as they try to shift from unlimited to usage-based mobile data plans.

Mobile Data Pricing Plan - Consumer Research - Parks Associates

"Operators need to create new value propositions for their data services," said Harry Wang, Director, Mobile Research, Parks Associates. “U.S. consumers are accustomed to unlimited data use for one fixed price. They are reluctantly embracing the capped data plan tiers, but they have high price sensitivity and will rebel against byte-tracking. Operators need to shift consumers’ perception away from raw data to the experience created by their data services.”

Parks Associates finds over 90% of U.S. smartphone owners have downloaded apps since product purchase, at an average of two apps per month. Worldwide, consumers will spend over $14 billion on smartphone app downloads in 2012. To maximize their revenues, operators need to tie their offerings to popular apps and services, including TV, music, books, newspapers, games, location-based services, and social activities, rather than charging consumers per megabyte.

"Moving mobile users to usage-based plans will be difficult and painful, but changes are necessary for operators to maintain revenues," Wang said. "Operators would benefit by recasting mobile data services as experience-driven—like many of their OTT competitors—in order to reduce consumers’ price sensitivity, fend off competition, and keep their mobile data revenue engine humming for the long run."

Parks Associates will discuss operator strategies to monetize mobile data and redefine consumers’ 4G experience at CONNECTIONS™: The Digital Living Conference and Showcase, June 5-7, co-located with TIA 2012 in Dallas, Texas.

In Mobile Data and Applications: Market Update, Parks Associates analyzes mobile data usage trends, consumer preferences, and operators’ competitive position relative to over-the-top (OTT) players and concludes that usage-based pricing should be only an interim solution for operators.

For more information, visit or contact 972-490-1113,

More information about TIA 2012: Inside the Network and CONNECTIONS™ at TIA can be found at and

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates, a woman-founded and certified business, is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates provides business intelligence and research services through its proprietary methodologies developed over decades, including quarterly surveys of 10,000 internet households.

The company's expertise crosses many industries: home security and smart home, streaming video, broadband and pay-TV services, digital media and platforms, gaming, Wi-Fi and home networks, connected health, support, consumer electronics, home control systems, energy management, and tech solutions for the multi-dwelling (MDU), small-to-medium business (SMB), and commercial building markets.

Each year, Parks Associates brings thousands of leaders together for its webinars and annual events. The firm hosts the annual executive research and strategy conferences CONNECTIONS™, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit, Smart Spaces, and Future of Video.

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