Popularity of cellphones lags in Canada: global study



    TORONTO, July 21 /CNW/ - When it comes to owning and using mobile phones,
Canada lags behind many nations, including several in the developing world,
suggests a global study on telecommunications.
    Conducted by international market research firm TNS, the Global Telecoms
Insight study found that only two-thirds of the Canadian population between
the ages of 16-60 use a mobile phone on a regular basis. This level of
penetration puts Canada significantly below the global average of 80 per cent
among the 30 countries surveyed, and even further behind the 90 per cent and
97 per cent levels found in the U.S. and UK, respectively.
    "Canadians do not have the same attachment to and reliance on mobile
phones as the rest of the world does," says Michael Ennamorato, a senior
vice-president at TNS Canadian Facts. "Making calls from landline phones in
Canada is relatively inexpensive and many Canadians think that the quality of
landline connections is superior to wireless."
    Among the one-third of Canadians who do not own mobile phones, the
majority has no intention of purchasing a cellphone within the next 12 months,
a group of consumers the study refers to as rejecters. Interestingly, only
Mexico and Vietnam have greater proportions of people in the rejecter segment,
two countries that are not traditionally considered as technologically
advanced. By contrast, many South East Asian markets, such as South Korea and
Hong Kong, have very few people falling under the rejecter category.
    Canadians who own mobile phones are in no rush to replace them with newer
and better models. They, along with the Dutch, expect to keep their handset
for 3.5 years on average - longer than in any other market studied - and one
year longer than mobile phone users in the U.S., UK and Australia.
    Another trend to emerge from the survey is the claim among Canadian
mobile users that they are unwilling to pay a higher price for their next
phone, an attitude that is shared by their counterparts south of the border,
but one that is at odds with the rest of the world.
    "There are clearly segments of the Canadian wireless population that are
leading-edge and want the latest and greatest, but on balance there is a
certain inertia in this market," says Ennamorato. "This possibly stems from an
inclination to assign a more limited role to wireless communications, as well
as a tendency to lock into three-year plans offering free handsets. In this
sense, the major carriers may have conditioned Canadians to focus on plans
rather than hardware."
    The 2007-08 TNS Global Telecoms Insight study was conducted in Algeria,
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong
Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands,
Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan,
Thailand, UAE, UK, USA and Vietnam. Over 16,000 participants were asked to
comment on their usage of and attitudes towards telecommunications devices,
with mobile phones forming the core of the study.
    In Canada, online interviews were conducted between November 29 and
December 14, 2007, among 550 consumers who were randomly selected from the TNS
Canadian Facts interactive research panel. The survey data were weighted to
reflect the demographic composition of the Canadian population between the
ages of 16 and 60. Figures were also weighted on a global scale to reflect
each market's relative size for consumption of telecommunication and
technology products and services, including such factors as national mobile
subscriptions and purchasing power parity.
    TNS Canadian Facts (www.tns-cf.com) is one of Canada's most prestigious
full-service marketing, opinion and social research organizations.

    About TNS

    TNS is a global market information and insight group.
    Its strategic goal is to be recognized as the global leader in delivering
value-added information and insights that help its clients make more effective
business decisions.
    TNS delivers innovative thinking and excellent service across a network
of 80 countries. Working in partnership with clients, TNS provides
high-quality information, analysis and insight that improve understanding of
consumer behaviour.
    TNS is the world's leading provider of customized services, combining
sector knowledge with expertise in the areas of Product Development &
Innovation, Brand & Communications, Stakeholder Management, Retail & Shopper
and Customer Intelligence. TNS is a major supplier of consumer panel, media
intelligence and audience measurement services.
    TNS is the sixth sense of business(TM).
    www.tnsglobal.com





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Michael Ennamorato, Senior Vice
President, Tel: (416) 924-5751 x215, e-mail:
michael.ennamorato@tns-global.com; David Stark, Vice President, Public
Affairs, Tel: (416) 924-5751 x238, e-mail: david.stark@tns-global.com

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