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Safety Drives Teen Mobile Growth

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[ Technology]

The growth of tween (children ages eight to 12) and teen cell phone subscribers will outpace that of the overall U.S. population according to a new report from Jupiter Research, "Mobile Subscriber Acquisition: Marketing to Parents, Teens, and Tweens."

The study found the main driver for parents to purchase cell phones for their children is because of safety. The ability for a child to be able to reach a parent was the main reason for adding children to existing mobile plans.

"Cell phone ownership is extending to ever-younger children as prices drop and carriers look to add subscribers in a market where adult penetration rates are closing in on their long-term maximum, " said Julie Ask, Vice President and Research Director at JupiterResearch.

"The majority of children with cell phones are on their parents’ wireless service plan well into adulthood due to the economics and convenience of adding family members to plans. Wireless service providers have made it an easy decision for parents to add their second graders by allowing family members to share minutes, adding free in-network calling, and offering options that help parents track their children and manage service costs."

Cell phone adoption for tweens is expected to grow dramatically in the next 12 months. According to parents, close to one-half of children ages 12 or 13 will have a cell phone by the end of 2007, while one-third of children ages 10 or 11 will have a cell phone in the same period.

"Mobile communications may be gaining wider acceptance, but it’s clear there is still a line that consumers, especially parents of younger children, aren’t quite ready to cross," said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch.

"Safety and security has a different meaning for a parent, depending on the age of the child. For older teens, the catalyst may be going away to college for the first time, for younger teens, it may be the convenience of a parent being able to reach the child. Whatever the definition, it is apparent that it is applied differently based on the age of a child."

Safety Drives Teen Mobile Growth
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