NASHVILLE, TN — Wireless phones have become an increasingly important part of day-to-day life in Nashville, according to a survey conducted by The Parker Group for Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless communications provider. The survey gives a comprehensive look at how wireless technology has penetrated the Nashville area. It is the second survey conducted by Verizon Wireless in the area. The first survey was conducted in 2000.
More and more wireless customers recognize that the improvements in wireless networks result in better service, i.e. fewer lost or incomplete calls. Over the last two years, twice as many people surveyed in Nashville say that they have experienced fewer dropped calls (26 percent) than more dropped calls (11.5 percent).
"Verizon Wireless is dedicated to continually testing and improving our network to ensure that our customers can call from anywhere and know that they won't lose their signal," said Jerry Fountain Verizon Wireless' regional president for Tennessee, North
Carolina and South Carolina. "Based on this survey, wireless customers are seeing improvement in wireless networks."
Long Distance Calls
"It is clear that wireless phones are becoming an option of choice to make long distance phone calls," said Fountain. Since purchasing a wireless phone, half (49 percent) of those surveyed report that they make fewer long distance calls from their home phones, including 23.4 percent who said they made more than 75 percent of their long distance calls wirelessly.
Wireless Phone Ownership
"Wireless phone ownership is growing, which is evidenced by the number of relatively new wireless phone owners in the area," said Fountain, noting that 41.5 percent of Nashvillians surveyed reported they have owned their wireless phone less than two years. This suggests that Nashville has experienced rapid growth in wireless phone usage.
More than two-thirds (70.4 percent) say they use their wireless phones most often in the car, which is down from 73 percent in 2000.
"Customers clearly want the convenience of communicating while traveling, and with that mobility come issues of driver safety," said Fountain. "Verizon Wireless takes the issue of safety very seriously and has committed to educating its employees and customers about using wireless phones safely while in their vehicles. We encourage the use of hands-free devices, and we have hands-free headsets available for as little as $15 in most stores."
Wireless Phones and Emergencies
When asked, "What is the most important reason to own a wireless phone?" 56.3 percent of Nashville residents reported that safety is the number one reason.
Customers' actions fall in line with their emphasis on safety, as nearly half (45.4 percent) of those surveyed reported they have used their wireless phones in an emergency situation. Of those who said they have used their phones in an emergency situation, virtually all (93.5 percent) said that it helped them to get help sooner than if they had not had a wireless phone.
The popularity of wireless Internet service and text messaging is spreading around the world, and the survey results show that they are slowly catching on in Nashville also.
Twenty-two percent say they would use their wireless phones to connect to the Internet if the service were faster, and 16.8 percent use text messaging.
"With our recent launch of Express NetworkSM, customers now can access the Internet from their Verizon Wireless phones at significantly faster speeds," Fountain said. "Express Network is capable of data transmission bursts up to 144 kilobits per second (kbps). Customers can expect consistent speeds of 40-60 kbps, comparable to what most computer users get when using dial-up Internet service at home. We anticipate that more and more Nashvillians will embrace this next generation of wireless technology and the many benefits it offers."
Personal vs. Business
Results show that nearly three in five Nashvillians (59.2 percent) use their phones mostly or only for personal calls. That represents an increase from 53.6 percent in 2000.
"From the survey, a profile emerges of Nashville wireless phone users as loyal, safety-conscious consumers who use a wireless phone mostly for personal calls," said Fountain.
The telephone survey was conducted in June 2002 of 300 Nashville residents drawn by random digit dialing. The survey was conducted by The Parker Group of Birmingham, Ala. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.7 percent.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 31.5 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.
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