Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mobile Subscriptions: Economic Hit

Netflix has already guided down for the short-term and 2009 as they indicated continuing economic woes as a major factor.  I've already cancelled mine.  Plus, there's only so much crappy movies that are being made lately?

So I started wondering about mobile subscriptions - fees for texting, mobile Internet, and even wireless lines.

For anyone being hurt by job losses or other financial problems, I can definitely see some folks cutting off subsciptions like Netflix, cable, or other luxuries that we have come to take for granted in this day and age. It's only the economic reality that has made us realized what are or are not necessities.

However, given the need to be connected now and our reliance on mobile phones, mobile contracts are not likely to be cancelled en mass.  Now, texting and mobile Internet services can go one way or another.

If mobile Internet is one's only source to access e-mails or the World Wide Web, it is not likely we'll see folks calling up the customer services of their respective wireless providers and canceling the service.  On the other hand, texting is likely to go.  I have already heard of folks doing just that.

In the end, it depends on the mobile users to make that call.  $20 a month is a bit steep when IM is free.  Ultimately, I do see an impact if more people start to cancel specific mobile services.  This could hit the bottom line of a lot of the providers.

You probably know by now I'm not a fan of those guys.  But now is the time for them to step up and work with users on fees.

Note:  Bundling is a good idea.  It's what T-Mobile did with their G1 3G services.  $25 for 3G access and 400 texts a month and $35 for unlimited texting.

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