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Age Matters Mobile Youth in Vietnam

2 minute read | December 2010

Twenty percent of the Vietnamese population is between the ages of 15 and 24, and half of these young people already use mobile services. Like their counterparts in other countries, young people in Vietnam use more data than average. Nine percent of them access the mobile internet on a regular basis compared to 3 percent of all Vietnamese mobile users. Eighteen percent use multimedia services, too, compared to 7 percent of Vietnamese mobile users of all ages.



But when it comes to understanding the purchase behaviors of mobile youth – particularly with regard to service choices – it is important to distinguish between teens and young adults. Teenagers’ decisions are still guided by their parents, who tend to control the purse strings. Young adults, on the other hand, increasingly make their own choices, are more subject to peer influence, and have more control over their own pocket money.

These distinctions are particularly apparent when we look at how young people choose their mobile service. Like most emerging countries, Vietnam is primarily a pre-paid market. That is, unlike the United States where mobile users enter into a long-term contract with a particular wireless operator and pay on a monthly basis, Vietnamese mobile users pay in advance for their mobile service and then “top up” their minutes when these run out.

The parents of Vietnamese teenagers tend to be responsible for paying for their kids’ mobile services. They tend to spend 100,000 vnd once or twice a month and pay to top-up their kids’ phones as needed. Promotions do not seem to affect the top-up behavior of teens.

But promotions are very important to young adults ages 18-24. They will actually wait for the right promotion to top up, or top up even if they don’t need the minutes just to take advantage of a promotion. Their increased price-sensitivity is due to the fact that they are now paying for their own mobile service. They tend to spend half as much as the parents of teenagers (50,000 vnd) each time, but top up more frequently, perhaps two or three times a month.

Promotions become more important when youth have to pay for mobile services themselves.
Teens Young Adults
Who Pays Parents Self: Pocket Money
Amount 100,000vnd/each time 50,000vnd is preferred
Frequency 1-2 times a month 2-3 times a month
Promotions Top up on need basis Wait for promotions, top up even if not needed in promo period
Source: The Nielsen Company.

For more information on how young people use their mobile phones, download: Mobile Youth Around the World.

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