Redmond, Wash.,–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–May 12, 2003–A study by Harris Interactive® for AT&T Wireless shows that more than half (56%) of Hispanic non-wireless owners in the U.S. wish they had a mobile phone for emergencies, when they are running late, when lost or stuck in traffic. Of Hispanics who currently do not own a mobile phone, 71% indicated they would likely feel safer or more secure if they owned one.
The first-of-its-kind study, which examined the attitudes, opinions and emotions of Hispanic consumers who do not currently own a mobile phone or service plan, revealed that there are real reasons why many Hispanics do not own a mobile phone. Many may be excluded from ‘connecting’ because of the cost of plans, or simply because they do not qualify for wireless plans.
“Millions of Hispanic consumers are turned down for wireless service due to poor credit or lack of credit,” says Jose F. Otero, Associate Researcher for the Consortium for Telecommunications Research of Mexico City. “This study demonstrates that too many people in the Hispanic community are missing out on the convenience and security that come with having a mobile phone.”
When Hispanic consumers were asked what held them back from purchasing a wireless phone, the most commonly cited reasons were costs and issues pertaining to contracts:
— Respondents stated they did not have a wireless phone because it was too expensive (23%), they didn’t qualify for wireless service plan they wanted (11%), didn’t want to commit to a long-term contract (7%), or the plans were too confusing (7%).
— Of those who said they didn’t qualify for traditional service plans, the majority said they had poor or no credit history (73%). Others said that their income was not high enough (18%) or the deposit was too expensive (9%). [NOTE: These results are based on a very small respondent sample base.]
The study also found that an overwhelming 80 percent of these non-wireless owners would want a mobile phone in emergency situations: nearly 56 percent said they would feel more confident and 37 percent more outgoing if they owned a mobile phone.
Hispanic consumers repeatedly referenced the assurance a wireless phone would offer them or their children, and the diminished sense of personal vulnerability it would afford. Sixty seven percent (67%) believed that an added measure of safety was the best reason to buy a wireless phone for a child, teenager or young adult. Demonstrating the desire for Hispanics to stay in touch with family (69%), the majority (66%) said a wireless phone would allow a child, teenager or young adult to keep in touch with their parents.
Some other key findings of the survey included:
— Respondents also feel that they would worry less (67%) if they had a cell phone.
— One-in-three Hispanic adults who currently do not own a wireless phone (35%) said they are likely to purchase one in the next year.
— If these Hispanic consumers owned a cell phone, (91%) would call a friend or family member. Most would call their mom (41%), sibling (23%) or dad (9%).
— Hispanic consumers would also love to chat with their favorite athletes and artists:
— If they owned a cell phone, (40%) of Hispanics would call Oscar de la Hoya, (14%) would call Michael Jordan and (10%) would call Sammy Sosa.
— Most Hispanics would prefer to talk to Jennifer Lopez (27%) over Salma Hayek (10%), and more would call Enrique Iglesias (10%) rather than Luis Miguel (6%).
One-in-three Hispanics without wireless phones indicated interest in purchasing a prepaid wireless plan. Other prepaid services that interested Hispanic consumers were prepaid gas, meals, supermarket bills, dry cleaning and movie tickets.
The study results were released in conjunction with the launch of AT&T Wireless’ new GoPhone®, which offers consumers the best of wireless without a contract. GoPhone is the only national wireless service to provide unlimited night and weekend calling, domestic long distance, and roaming – all from AT&T Wireless’ national service area — without a credit check or long-term contract. Unlike some wireless plans that require customers to proactively replenish their accounts, GoPhone automatically deducts a set fee from a customer’s preferred bank account, credit card or debit card each month – or more often if their GoPhone account needs to be replenished before the month is out. Customers can choose from one of four GoPhone calling plans ranging from $19.99 to $49.99 a month and receive rates as low as nine cents per minute, which are comparable to those previously available only to customers on plans requiring long-term contracts.
“With the introduction of the GoPhone, AT&T Wireless continues to offer affordable, high-quality service to the Hispanic community,” said Rosa Alonso, senior director of international and multicultural marketing for AT&T Wireless. “We are underscoring the importance of staying connected with family, and making it easy for everyone to own a wireless phone.”
GoPhone can be purchased off-the-shelf in more than 10,000 stores nationally, including Target, 7-Eleven, CompUSA, Staples, Ritz Camera, and AT&T Wireless stores.
For more information on GoPhone in Spanish, consumers can visit www.attwireless.com/espanol/gophone or call 1 800 648-6000.
About Harris Interactive®
Harris Interactive (http://www.harrisinteractive.com) is a worldwide market research and consulting firm best known for The Harris Poll®, and for pioneering the Internet method to conduct scientifically accurate market research. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, U.S.A., Harris Interactive combines proprietary methodologies and technology with expertise in predictive, custom and strategic research. The Company conducts international research through wholly owned subsidiaries—London-based HI Europe (http://www.hieurope.com) and Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan—as well as through the Harris Interactive Global Network of local market-and opinion-research firms, and various U.S. offices. EOE M/F/D/V
About AT&T Wireless
AT&T Wireless (NYSE: AWE) is the second-largest wireless carrier, based on revenues, in the United States. With 21.1 million subscribers as of March 31, 2003, and revenues of nearly $16.0 billion over the past 12 months, AT&T Wireless delivers advanced high-quality mobile wireless communications services, voice and data, to businesses and consumers, in the U.S. and internationally. For more information, please visit us at http://www.attwireless.com/.