Over half of postpaid wireless phone users are on family plans, according to new research released this week by the Yankee Group, a market research firm. This continues a trend in the wireless industry toward family plans, which typically offer 2 or 3 lines of service with a shared ?bucket? of minutes. Teens are especially likely to be on a family plan, with 81% of 13-to-17 year old postpaid cellular phone users reporting that they are on a family plan.
The popularity of family plans is in part due to the price and coverage sensitivity of American users. The Yankee Groups study has found that these two factors consistently outweigh customer service among wireless users. Consumers should keep these findings in mind when shopping for a new wireless plan. Remember, however, that your family may not need the comparatively large number of minutes in a typical family plan. As with non-family plans, be sure to evaluate how many minutes are actually being used each month to avoid overbuying.
Unlike pay-as-you-go prepaid wireless or wireline long distance plans, postpaid mobile service subscribers pay for the entire bucket of minutes whether they use them or not. Consumers who find that they are leaving 200 minutes or more per month unused should consider switching down to a plan with fewer minutes.