Are Cell Phone Companies Next to Suffer from the Economic Downturn?

Deepening concerns about the recession already have caused millions of U.S. consumers to cut back on their cell phone spending and millions more are poised to join their ranks if the economic downturn continues as expected for another six months, according to a scientific survey of 2,005 Americans conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) for the New Millennium Research Council (NMRC). The results will be released at 1:30 p.m. EST Thursday (March 19, 2009) during a live, phone-based national news conference.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> The NMRC-commissioned survey will show that the resulting shift in consumer habits is likely to come at the expense of contract-based cell phone service as more consumers seek to save money by using prepaid cell phones and cutting out cell phone "extras." The new ORC poll is the first of a planned series of annual NMRC surveys that will benchmark consumer attitudes about cell phone use as the economy rises and falls over time.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> News event speakers will be:<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> &#x2022; Allen Hepner, scholar, New Millennium Research Council; and<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> &#x2022; Graham Hueber, senior researcher, Opinion Research Center.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> The New Millennium Research Council commissioned and released a December 4, 2008 survey identifying major consumer myths about cell phone plans and related costs. In March 2008, NMRC released a major study identifying the potential income-generation and public safety benefits that would result from extending cell phone service to the millions of low-income Americans currently without it.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Join the live, phone-based news conference (including full, two-way Q&A) at 1:30 p.m. EDT on March 19, 2009 by dialing 1(800) 860-2442. (Ask for the "cell phones and the economy study" news event.) To hear the NMRC telenews event in its entirety, dial in at least five minutes before the start time. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> An electronic copy of the full ORC survey report will be available online at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> by the time of the news event. A streaming audio recording of the news event will be available on the Web as of 6 p.m. EST on March 19, 2009 at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.