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Characteristics of early adopters in mobile communications markets

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to study consumers' adoption of mobile communications services, and to explore common denominators uniting those most likely to be early adopters; thereby, to help practitioners to predict early adoption and segment the market. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Data were collected by postal questionnaire from 26 per cent of a sample of 3,000 customers of a telecommunications service provider in Finland, stratified into three sub-samples according to type of usage. For this paper, the returns from the two sub-samples with the highest rates of use were analysed. Findings ‐ Previous experience of related types of communications services significantly and positively influenced adoption of new mobile services. Certain of the respondents' demographic characteristics were also closely associated with early adoption. Research limitations/implications ‐ Further studies are required before the findings can be applied beyond Scandinavia. Qualitative research could enhance understanding of the roles of personal innovativeness and income, in particular, in adoption of mobile communications services. Practical implications ‐ Mobile communications service providers in Scandinavia now have a tested basis for identification of early adopters, segmentation of the market, and targeting of marketing campaigns. Originality/value ‐ The study tested theoretical constructs used widely in other fields, and identified adjustments required for transfer to the mobile communications service context.

Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Finland; Market segmentation; Mobile communication systems; Product innovation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 30, 2007

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