How does the mobility of subscribers influence the consumption of cellular communication?
Within the framework of a joint seminar of GAMES research group and research and training group “Empirical demand estimation” Svetlana Kuzmenkova, the 4th year student of “Economics” educational programme, presented intermediate results of a study dedicated to the influence of subscribers’ mobility on cellular communication services consumption.
In the beginning of her speech Svetlana noted that providers are interested in sustention of demand for their services and for that purpose they study the subscribers’ behaviour. “The main purpose is to hold current subscribers, because cellular communication market is oversaturated (1.5 SIM-cards per one person). Subscribers’ mobility is one of characteristics that reflects the lifestyle and allows to identify the types of subscribers” - the student underlined.
Proceeding from this basic data, Svetlana marked the main goals of the study: to find out how the mobility can influence the consumption of cellular communication services and also to analyse the notion of mobility and to receive the best method of its measurement.
The author of the study presented the review of literature which she divided into 2 categories. “The first covers the approaches to measurement of mobility, the second – the models of consumers choice” – explained Svetlana. – “Some researchers use a stepwise procedure of demand estimation. The first step is the selection of a tariff, the second is consumption. A part of authors takes into account not only calls, but also SMS in the step structure of demand”.
Svetlana Kuzmenkova’s research is based on the data about subscribers of Rostelecom company from November 2011 to November 2012: date, duration and price of every consumed service and also exact location of subscribers (the address of a base station). “Of course we have certain restrictions: we can trace subscribers only when they make contact with somebody” – the student noted. Besides, the sampling included only those subscribers who make calls in Perm, and whose monthly expenses for cellular communication were more than 50 roubles.
“Building a discrete-continuous model with a sequence of decision making within the framework of different tariffs will be important for my work, calls and SMS will also be studied” – Svetlana explained.
The author of the work also presented the methodology of the study: initially several methods of mobility measurement are offered, then subscribers are divided into some groups for more detailed analysis of mobility and justification why this particular characteristic is important for the demand estimation. After that the validation of the discrete-continuous model is supposed to be carried out.
Svetlana told what calculations can be made: “We can calculate the distance between cells, the frequency and the change of cells for each subscriber in a certain period of time, the number of communications from each cell is also known, and we can calculate the time of travel from one cell to another”. The author of the study also presented an example of such calculation based on one month data.
The participants of the seminar gave their suggestions on the study, in particular, they recommended an alternative mathematical model, advised to pay special attention to the scientific novelty of the work, to the definition of the term “mobility” etc.