Comparing Existing and Prospective Mobile Telephone Users in Colombia

Like many countries in the world, Colombia is seeing an explosive growth in mobile telephone ownership.  According to the TGI-EGM Colombia survey of 12,585 persons during 2004, 33% of them said they currently have mobile telephony, and another 10% said that they planned to get it within the next six months.  We are mindful that stated intention to purchase usually translates to a fraction of actual actions.

It is well know that the diffusion of technological innovations takes places in stages and that very different types of people participate in each stage (see Early Adopters of Technological Innovations).  As an illustration, we show the incidences of current and prospective mobile telephone users in the following chart:  Whereas mobile telephone usage was historically driven by socio-economic conditions, the next generation of users are  uniformly distributed across the socio-economic spectrum.

(source: 2004 TGI-EGM Colombia)

The more important question is how might the prospective adopters make their purchases?  Do they have a different set of priorities and considerations from the existing user base?  The next chart shows the list of factors that were deemed to be important.  In the absolute sense, they don't really differ that much.  Network coverage is still the most important thing as well as the cost of calls.  After that, there are some subtle difference in that branding, advertising, policies and promotions make larger differences to the prospective buyers.

(source: 2004 TGI-EGM Colombia)

(posted by Roland Soong, 1/24/2005)

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