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Monday, February 27, 2006

Cellphones

It is said in the news that China is "set to spend billions on wireless upgrade". China already has the biggest wireless market in the world. It is also reported that there were 59 million new subscription last year alone. So, it is only natural that China spent more money upgrading the network, which has led to heated competition among global telecommunications companies.

I have several reactions to this piece of news:

1) Does the number, 59 millions of new subscriptions, took into account the special cultural event, "super girl" (equivalent to American Idol in US)? In US, viewers vote online. In China, viewers vote by text messaging using cell phones. There was also a limit of 6 votes per phone numbers. Thus, loyal fans will buy prepaid cellular phone numbers and plans to boost votes for their idols. The TV event attacted tens of millions votes per show. One can imagine how many new wireless service subscriptions can result from this nationwide event.

2) For a one-per-user sort of services like wireless services, where each regular (not fans of some TV reality competitions) user only needs one count, marketing models probably also consider the saturation of the market in a fixed population. I wonder whether there is something called "beware of fixed population extrapolation" in this field of research.

3) This also reminded me of the differences between the wireless markets in China and in US. In China, people upgrade their cellphone far more frequent than people in US. This could leads to different marketing modelling.