Different mobile operators, different economic outlooks

April 01, 2014, 10:30 AM GMT+0

Customers of the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and those with Mobile Virtual Networks Operators (MVNOs) are distinct groups with different economic outlooks and spending habits, new analysis from YouGov shows.

Using data from the Household Economic Activity Tracker, YouGov finds that people who use the MNOs (Three, EE, Vodafone and O2) are more likely to think their household finances will improve over the next 12 months while customers of MVNOs (such as Tesco and Virgin Mobile) are more likely to think they will get worse. Equal fractions of both expect to see no change.

This optimism among MNO customers transfers into their planned non-essential spending over the course of the next year. People with the likes of Three, O2, EE and Vodafone are markedly more likely to pay to eat out, go to the cinema and purchase gym memberships than people who use operators such as Tesco and Virgin Mobile.

The relative economic pessimism among consumers of MVNOs is shown by the fact they are looking to make savings on their phone bills over the next year – albeit on a modest scale. YouGov’s data show that people with operators such as Virgin and Tesco currently spend £20 a month on average compared to £31 for those with EE, O2, Vodafone and Three. However, while the expected spend among MNO customers next year remains steady, projected expenditure among consumers with MVNOs falls to £19 a month.

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