Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Telephia: Cell Phone Roaming Spending Climbs During Summer Vacation Season

This one seems to be a no brainer,but according to a recent report from Telephia, roaming charges for mobile phone subscribers rose during the summer travel season. Telephia found that "cell phone subscribers paid 15 percent more in roaming charges to nearly $14 in Q3 2005, as compared to just a little over $12 in Q1 2005. Average roaming rates remained consistent at $.22 per minute, but the average number of minutes spent roaming increased by seven minutes to 62 minutes during the summer."

Tamara Gaffney at Telephia said, "Gone are the days when consumers take a vacation and leave all forms of communications at home. Cell phones allow vacationers to stay in touch in case of emergencies or to check on the kids. And with the proliferation of camera-ready phones, consumers are able to send instant postcards while on holiday."

Gaffney added, "Compared to hotel phone charges or using pay phones, mobile phones generally offer much better rates when traveling. However, unexpected roaming charges still surprise many consumers at the end of the month. Shopping around for the most appropriate calling plan is key, as differences between local/regional and national plans can spell great savings on roaming charges."

Telephia Average Cell Phone Charges by Plan Calling Area(Q3 2005)

Plan Type
Local or National National
Regional Anywhere In-Network
---------------------------------- ---------- ---------- ----------
Average Voice Roaming Charge(a) $30.69 $22.85 $12.39
Percent of Subscribers with
Roaming Charge (%) 7.4% 2.2% 4.8%
---------------------------------- ---------- ---------- ----------
Source: Telephia Customer Value Metrics, Q3 2005

(a) Note: Among subscribers who had any domestic or international
roaming charges

(1) National Anywhere plans are voice calling plans that allow
subscribers to use other carrier's networks without incurring
roaming or long distance surcharges.

(2) National In-Network plans are voice calling plans that allow
subscribers to use the carrier's own network outside the
subscriber's local area without incurring roaming or long distance