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Teen, College Students Are Most Active Cell Phone Users

  |  August 29, 2005   |  Comments

College students and teens are most active on their cell phones, both use data services in addition to voice.

College students access more mobile content on their phones while mobile services are unrestricted by the parents of teens. A pair of reports look into each segment; one an independent study from M:Metrics, the second, a survey conducted by Itracks for ACE*Comm.

The M:Metrics report finds employed college students are 42 percent more likely to use mobile email than the typical subscriber. That's 23 percent more likely than full-time workers. Working students download mobile games and personalize content on their phones twice as often as do other users.

"Students who work as well are time-deprived. Highly personalized news and entertainment feeds could be interesting if done correctly," Seamus McAteer, chief product architect and senior analyst at M:Metrics, told ClickZ Stats.

The report says a student's mobile phone bill ranges from $41 to $60 per month, but 57.5 percent of students are on family plans and don't pay the bills themselves. Students who don't work may be more conscious of download costs.

"Students without work are almost three times more likely to spend less than $20 in total on their monthly mobile bill than their counterparts with work," said McAteer,

Parents foot the bill of most teen mobile lines through family plans as well, according to the study commissioned by ACE*Comm. The survey finds most teenagers aren't restricted by their parents when it comes to cell phone or data usage.

Just because kids are in school doesn't mean their phones are turned off. Thirty-eight percent of teens surveyed text-message with friends during school hours. A smaller 30 percent of students say they play video games on their phones while at school. Parents who look at their kid's calls will realize 26 percent of kids speak with people mom and dad wouldn't approve of.

The M:Metrics report is part of a monthly benchmark survey that collects specific device model and carrier subscription information each month from a sample of mobile phone subscribers. The survey looks at usage, then M:Metrics uses the data to statistically balance and project to total national population of mobile phone subscribers.

For the ACE*Comm report, Itracks polled 1,000 teens across North America age 13 to 18 from July 30 to August 9 of this year. The data was released in conjunction of the launch of ACE*Comm's Parent Patrol product to help parents monitor their children's mobile phone usage.

U.S. Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications, July 2005
Activity Projected
Reach (000s)
Percentage U.S.
Subscribers (%)
Change From
Survey (%)
Sent or received text message 67,542 37.3 0.1
Retrieved news and information via browser 24,325 13.4 6.6
Used personal email 20,359 11.3 2.6
Used photo messaging 18,752 10.4 10.5
Purchased ring tone 17,551 9.7 1.4
Used mobile instant messenger 17,375 9.6 0.1
Used work email 10,461 5.8 8.5
Purchased wallpaper or screensaver 6,955 3.8 5.7
Downloaded mobile game 6,233 3.4 4.7
Source: M:Metrics Inc., 2005

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Enid Burns

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