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Mobile Phone Data Users Demand Usability

In a recent market study, ABI Research examined the mobile messaging adoption and usage patterns of mobile business customers from four U.S. mobile service operators.

One of the key findings is that mobile instant messaging (IM) adoption is negatively correlated to mobility. According to principal analyst Dan Shey, "The greatest adopters of mobile IM are T-Mobile subscribers whose demographic profile shows a high percentage who only work in an office."

As office work typically requires PC access, mobile IM adoption appears more related to familiarity with IM through the PC rather than mobility itself.

Other data from the survey analysis shows that Verizon customers are the greatest adopters of picture messaging services and use them the most frequently. AT&T customers are the highest adopters of mobile e-mail services. More Sprint customers use mobile e-mail on a daily basis than other carriers.

All the usage and adoption data is combined with pricing analysis to provide a comparison of messaging ARPUs for each mobile operator. The results demonstrate the important demographic factors that drive mobile messaging ARPUs.

Shey comments, "Smartphone penetration is a big factor driving mobile messaging ARPUs. But personal usage of mobile services is also an important factor. AT&T appears to have successfully combined these two drivers, showing the greatest overall mobile messaging ARPUs in this survey set."

Respondent interest in device features that will improve the mobile messaging user experience demonstrates that all carriers have opportunities to increase messaging adoption and usage, ultimately increasing messaging ARPUs.

These features include QWERTY keyboards, touchscreens, large displays and phones with personal information management functions such as calendars and address books.

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