African-Americans and Hispanics Dominate Cellphone Use

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Telephia the leading provider of performance measurement information to the mobile industry reports that African American and Hispanic mobile consumers were heavy cell phone users in Q3. The latest data from Telephia's Customer Value Metrics report shows that the African American demographic group used more than 1 200 voice minutes on average per month during the quarter (see Table 1). Hispanic cell phone users followed closely with 979 total voice minutes used on average per month in Q3. Historical trending illustrates maximum mobile usage growth for African Americans and Hispanics as compared to other demographic groups increasing 10 and 13 percent respectively between Q1 and Q3 2005.

Consumers who fell under the mixed racial background category used 888 voice minutes, while Asian or Pacific Islander consumers used 845 minutes. Both White/Caucasian and Native American/Alaskan mobile phone consumers logged 632 and 623 total voice minutes used, respectively, the least among all groups. Quarter-by-quarter trending shows an upward trajectory for voice minute usage among all groups, increasing by at least five percent.

"Overall growth in cell phone usage demonstrates a robust consumer demand for newer and better wireless products and services," said Tamara Gaffney, Product Director, Telephia. "And the wireless industry is not the only sole beneficiary of the demand. Technological advances and better service offerings have reduced cost per minute charges for consumers over time."

Total Voice Minutes Used (2005)

Q1Q2Q3Percent Growth
Q1-Q3 2005 (%)

Black/African American





Hispanic Origin





Mixed Racial Background





Asian or Pacific Islander










Native American/Alaskan Native





Young Adults Heavy Consumers of Cell Phone Voice and Data Minutes

Consumers age 18-24 use their cell phones the most, spending more than 1300 total voice minutes on average per month (see Table 2). According to Telephia, mobile phone usage by the younger demographic is 71 percent more than the total average minutes used by all age groups. The number of calls they send and receive also outpaced other demographic age groups, claiming an average of 340 calls per month in Q3 2005.

Cell phone users age 25-36 posted an average of 970 voice minutes used and 246 calls sent and received per month, while 37-55 year old consumers used an average of 726 minutes and made 197 calls. Older consumers used the least cell phone voice minutes and completed just 119 calls per month during the quarter.

In terms of data usage, young adults sent and received a total of 126 SMS data messages on average per month, more than double the amount for 25-36 year old cell phone users, who had the second highest average for SMS messages sent and received with 56.

"Technologically advanced and savvy, Generation Y grew up with having a cell phone as part of their daily lives," added Gaffney.

"But the question that still needs to be answered is whether their usage pattern is situational, because they are not tied down to a fixed line phone during most waking hours; or behavioral, as they have become accustomed to using cell phones and thus will continue being heavy users as they grow older. It is the interesting unknown that only time will tell," concluded Gaffney."

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