Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Mikoaj Czajkowski (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw) and Maciej Sobolewski (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw) ask Switching Costs and Network Effects How Much Do they Really Matter in Mobile Telecommunications?
ABSTRACT: Our study focuses on the identification and the measurement of switching costs and network effects in mobile telecommunications. Although these two phenomena create similar consumer lock-in mechanisms, there are no empirical studies that integrate them into one model of subscriber's behavior. Our study fills this gap by applying stated preference valuation methods to a representative sample of individual mobile phone users in Poland. We find that number portability can be attributed to only approximately 50% of the total switching costs associated with changing either the provider or the service and the remaining part is associated with status quo inertia. Additionally, we show that because network effects play an important role in service valuation, they lead to strengthening the lock-in mechanisms even further. Our study provides the first empirical measurements of the relative importance of these simultaneous effects and provides the estimates of their monetary value.