48 days of credit: how often do prepaid mobile phone users in Australia top up

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Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2014 – June 2015 n = 4,756 Australians aged 14 and over with a primary prepaid mobile phone.

6.2 million Australians aged 14 and over (32%) have a prepaid cell phone, which they top up almost every seven weeks on average, according to the latest telecommunications data from Roy Morgan Research.

40% of prepaid mobile customers say they top up every four weeks, which is the most common prepaid plans offered by providers. But while only 12% recharge Following often than every four weeks (including 9% every 2 to 3 weeks and 3% at least once a week), 31% recharge less often: 9% of prepaid cell phone owners top up every two months, 9% every three months and 13% top up even less often than that.

% of prepaid cell phone owners who top up by frequency

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2014 – June 2015 n = 4,756 Australians aged 14 and over with a primary prepaid mobile phone. The total will be less than 100% because some respondents cannot quote how often they charge.

For all prepaid mobile users, the average top-up frequency is around 48 days, or slightly less every seven weeks. But there are stark differences in how often the average mobile user charges depending on their service provider.

Virgin customers have the longest average recharge interval – 63 days, or every nine weeks. About 1 in 5 Virgin prepaid mobile customers say they top up less often than every three months, and another 3 in 10 only top up every two or three months.

Other prepaid mobile customers who leave a little longer than normal between recharges are those with ALDI Mobile (every 57 days), Vodafone (53 days) or Telstra (49 days), while those who top up a little more frequently include those with Amaysim (45 days), TPG (44 days) or Optus (44 days).

Customers with Boost are by far the most frequent rechargers: they add credit every 28 days on average, at the limit of four weeks. In fact, nearly 3 in 4 Boost prepaid customers say they top up immediately every four weeks.

Average number of days between recharges by supplier

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2014 – June 2015 n = 4,756 Australians 14+ with a primary prepaid mobile phone

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan Research, says:

Last week, We looked at the main charging channels used by prepaid mobile customers and found many differences in these preferences between providers.

“Data allocation is an increasingly important factor when people are recharging. More than half of prepaid mobile users who have a data allowance top up every four weeks on point, often coinciding with data expiration. Lack of data is also a common reason prepaid customers find themselves reloading every week or two or so.

“Our extensive cell phone data reveals the correlations between customer channel, frequency, data spend and allocation, phone usage and demographics. With this information, providers could better understand their prepaid customers.

For comments or more information, please contact:
Roy Morgan – Inquiries

Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
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