December 29, 2000

Ethnic groups in the U.S. will spend $41 billion on local, long distance, wireless and Internet services this year, representing nearly 30 percent of the total telecommunications consumer marketplace, says a new report by Insight Research.

According to Insight's report, "Telecom and Ethnic Groups: Uses of Local, Long Distance, and Wireless in Ethnic Communities," the large and rapidly growing ethnic consumer segment can spell success for service providers who attract ethnic consumers with in-language, in-culture advertising, customer service, and billing, or failure for those who ignore the unique needs and cultural identity of ethnic groups. By 2005, ethnic consumers will purchase over $65 billion worth of telecom services, a staggering number that is equal to half of today's total consumer telecom market. Moreover, Asian and Hispanic groups will increase their telecom spending power by more than 13 percent annually through 2005, compared to the 10 percent growth of the general consumer population. As telecom carriers explore new business opportunities to gain and retain market share, their attention should increasingly turn to the ethnic market.

"Multi-lingual customer service representatives and in-language online bills are ethnic strategies telecom companies have recently adopted," said Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight. "But they have to do more. Simply translating existing materials into another language misses the point of communicating in-culture. You must utilize symbols, colors, and images consistent with the values of the ethnic communities you want to reach."

"Telecom and Ethnic Groups" forecasts expenditures for local, long distance, wireless, and Internet service in three major ethnic communities: African-American, Asian and Hispanic. Insight's primary research survey also reveals monthly telecom expenditures, usage of technologies in the home, and telecom preferences by various demographic categories.

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