New Users and Aggressive Marketing Move the Prepaid Calling Card Market Forward, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JULY 27, 2001 – Since its launch in the early 1990s, the prepaid calling card market has experienced impressive double-digit annual growth, reflecting the accelerating demand for prepaid telecommunications services. IDC reports the market for prepaid calling cards will continue to expand, with revenue growing from $3.4 billion in 2000 to $5.3 billion at the end of 2005.


"Although the prepaid market is still dominated by the credit challenged, ethnic minorities, and lower-income consumers, the typical prepaid calling card user is becoming less defined," said Amy Harris, analyst with IDC’s Residential Telecommunications Services program. "We see more business users and colleges students purchasing prepaid calling cards as well as a growing segment of users that view prepaid cards as convenient to use and a helpful tool to control their long distance calling costs."

With long distance prices continuing to decline, IDC believes price is no longer a key differentiator in this market. For service providers, the creativity of their marketing organizations and the quality of their merchandising and promotional materials are factors increasingly driving success in the prepaid card market.

"The marketing of a prepaid calling card is more important than the quality of the calls or the value-added services that might be offered on a card," Harris said. "Moreover, to attain success in this market, service providers need to expand their distribution channel relationships with retailers such as Costco, Target, and Texaco."

IDC recently published U.S. Prepaid Calling Card Market Forecast and Analysis, 2000-2005 (IDC#W25082). This report focuses on the wireline prepaid calling card market by analyzing the current market trends in consumer usage and satisfaction, the technology platform, and the drivers and inhibitors for future growth. Profiles of the major calling card providers and a competitive analysis of the service providers they work with are also included in this report. To purchase this report, contact IDC’s PR hotline at 508-988-7988 or email

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 700 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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