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PRICE, DISTRIBUTION KEY TO PCS GROWTH

NEWTON, Mass.-Personal communications services providers must prevail in the consumer market in order to be successful, said a report issued by Business Research Group.

PCS providers focused initially on the business market in an effort to recoup investments on licenses because business users spend on average $140 per month for wireless service, said the firm. However, in order to survive, PCS providers will need to penetrate the consumer market by selling services in the retail environment and by making equipment and service costs affordable, said BRG.

The report also predicted people will be quicker to adopt PCS services than the cellular industry experienced in its first five years operating, pointing to Sprint Spectrum L.P.’s gain of at least 100,000 customers in just more than one year of operation.

The report is based on a survey of 500 consumers about their attitudes toward buying wireless service. Respondents were asked their interest and willingness to pay for 17 different service offerings that could be delivered over narrowband or broadband PCS networks.

Factors affecting a user’s degree of interest include past or current wireless usage, wireless usage habits, income level, occupation and age.

Respondents indicated the most interest in one-number, follow-me roaming services and dual-mode phones that work as both a cellular and cordless phone. The survey showed consumers are willing to pay an average of $27 per month for this service.

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