Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 2:25am
CELL CARRIERS SEEK GROWTH BY CATERING TO HISPANICS
[SOURCE: New York Times, AUTHOR: Matt Richtel & Ken Belson]
Now that nearly three out of four people in this country have mobile phone service, cellphone companies are chasing new customers by marketing to ever more specific slices of the population. But one group is getting extra attention: Hispanics. The industry is spending tens of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns to court Hispanic customers. This summer, Verizon is sponsoring the concert tour of the Colombian-born pop singer Shakira, while Sprint is promoting advanced phones that let subscribers watch television and download songs in Spanish. And there is ample reason for the carriers' attention. One of the country's fastest growing demographic groups, Hispanics often have large families that span international borders, making for larger phone bills. They are also younger as a group, so they are less likely to have an old-fashioned landline phone and more likely to use pricey data services on their cellphones. In other words, they are ideal customers.
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