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Quasi-subscribers in the Swedish Mobile Phone Market: The Phenomenon and Determinant Factors

Mohammad Tsani Annafari (Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation)
Göteborg : Chalmers University of Technology, 2010. - 118 s.

This thesis investigates the problematic inaccuracies of mobile phone density as a measure on access and use of mobile phones. The inaccuracies are presumably caused by the presence of quasi-subscribers - mobile phone users with multiple active SIM cards or subscriptions - that exaggerate the actual number of mobile phone users.

From a macro perspective, this thesis finds that quasi-subscribers distort the accuracy of mobile density when used as a single proxy in representing the diffusion process of mobile phones. The cumulative mobile phone operator data, as the source of mobile density, inflate the actual number of adopters reflected in the diffusion curve and obscure the saturation level in the market. This is the result of the inability of the data to reflect the intra- and inter-operator multiple subscriptions.

The investigation of the Swedish mobile phone market concludes that factors determining multiple subscriptions that lead to the presence of quasi-subscribers mostly come from subscriptions for business purpose and subscriptions for other family members. Moreover, the use of mobile data communication also has some impacts on the emergence of additional subscriptions. A different tendency however, is observed in different mobile phone markets, i.e. Thailand market. This indicates that the determinant factors of multiple subscriptions depend on the mobile phone market characteristics.

As a contribution, this thesis proposes the use of a survey-based mobile phone density as a complementary index to operator-based mobile density. By doing so, the potential market as well as the saturation level in the market can be better projected. Further, the thesis also emphasizes organizations as unit of consumers in addition to individual consumers. This should be taken into account when investigating the consumers’ behavior in mobile telecommunication studies since the organization as unit of consumer may behave differently compare to individuals.

Nyckelord: Mobile phone, quasi-subscribers, multiple subscriptions, intra-operator multiple subscriptions, inter-operator multiple subscriptions, diffusion process

Denna post skapades 2010-05-07. Senast ändrad 2011-03-30.
CPL Pubid: 121380