Youth – The biggest consumers of prepaid mobile services

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WE KNOW IT, THEY KNOW IT, BUT DO THE TELECOM COMPANIES KNOW IT?

Prepaid mobile service and prepaid plans should be more youth-centric as they are the biggest revenue generators for prepaid telecom sector internationally. The sooner telecom companies and regulation authorities realise the importance of making prepaid mobile service more friendly, the better it will be for them.

You see them on posters and billboards for the latest prepaid plans, you see them in advertisements, you see them in the local buses, you see them walking on the street, you see them at the local “paanwala” stall getting a prepaid mobile recharge, you see them sometimes even in the public washrooms – undeniably, unmistakeably, it is more often than not that you see the youth everywhere – spending countless seconds hooked to their mobile phones, talking, laughing, gossiping, chatting, texting, facebooking (if that’s a legit word), and what not.

We know – youth are the biggest and the most avid consumers of prepaid mobile services. But what should it mean for telecom companies and regulatory authorities?

The telecom mobile telephony technology was introduced to South Asian subcontinent in the middle of the 1990s (remember those big, chunky, grey mobile phones that resembled a brick?) But it was not until about a decade later that earnestly only available and to and affordable for the elite and the business class, mobile service exploded into a nationwide phenomenon, to the point that some of the biggest industrial players in the country got into a fray with the vision to bring at least one mobile phone t every household in India. And the vision is (almost) a reality now.

More importantly (to our subject), the introduction of the much more economical prepaid mobile service led to a sudden and unexpected boom in the rate of adoption of prepaid mobile service among the youth. Surveys have shown that the popularity and preference of mobile phones among young people has surpassed that of the television and even the personal computer!

For the youth, their mobile phone is not only an easy way of staying connected to their peer group (which is very important at this stage), but also a fashion statement and a status symbol. So while they spend a hefty amount on the phone set – many have confessed they have “pinched” money to stay connected through the month.

That says a lot about the dissention about spends on mobile phone and prepaid mobile recharge. We hope the mobile companies are listening and realise that rather than widening the ambit of services, they should focus on bringing more economical and still good quality services to the youth of the nation.

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