The Advantages of the Advanced Cellular Frame

One of the strengths of MSG’s new Advanced Cellular Frame is its ability to address inward and outward migration of cellular telephone users.  This feature allows for the employment of Disproportionate Stratified Sampling (DSS) designs – or in other vernacular – split-frame designs. We can illustrate this using a typical scenario.  

Say you are targeting a metro area like Multnomah County, OR – home to the city of Portland.  There are, in essence, three ways you can define a cellular telephone sample frame targeting Multnomah County. 

One method is using a traditional EPSEM (equal probability of selection method) RDD design.  This is the method that has been around for well over 10 years.   We first identify the rate centers that best fit Multnomah County.  Every possible telephone number in the cellular thousand blocks (first 7 digits of a telephone number) that originate from the selected rate centers make up the sample frame.  This RDD frame design contains a mixture of working and non-working/unassigned telephone numbers. 

Multnomah County, OR 
RDD Frame (Traditional EPSEM) 2,057,000 100.0% 
Listed In-Area 348,497 16.9% 
Listed Out of Area 804,686 39.1% 
Unlisted/Unassigned 903,817 43.9% 

This method, however, has some serious drawbacks, but more importantly, it does not address migration – people who have moved in and out of Multnomah County and kept their cellular telephone number.   Look at the highlighted line in the table above.  39% of the RDD EPSEM frame is known to be outside of Multnomah County.  Additionally, the RDD EPSEM frame excludes anyone who has since moved into the county from other parts of the country.  The result of this behavior is high under coverage and high out-of-area.  It’s simply an inefficient and costly design. 

The Advanced Cellular Frame dramatically improves upon the shortcomings of the traditional RDD design.  We can still employ an EPSEM design by including both known and unknown cellular telephones.  But, this design addresses the migration issue.   Look at the highlighted row in the table below.  This design now includes cellular numbers for individuals who have since moved into Multnomah County from other parts of the state or country (inward migration).  It also excludes cellular numbers known to be outside Multnomah County (outward migration).  This all but erases the inefficiencies of dialing known out of area out of area numbers while at the same time improving in-area coverage.  This design is still an EPSEM methodology because it includes the unlisted/unassigned portion in order to provide full coverage of Multnomah County.  When sampling, every telephone number has an equal probability of selection.  

Multnomah County, OR 
ACF Frame (EPSEM) 1,449,089 100.0% 
Listed 545,272 37.6% 
In Area 348,497 24.0% 
Inward migration 196,775 13.6% 
Outward migration 0.0% 
Unlisted/Unassigned 903,817 62.4% 

Building on the improved EPSEM design noted above is the fact that we can now employ Disproportionate Stratified Sample designs (DSS) using the Advanced Cellular Frame.  We can separate the Listed and Unlisted/Unassigned components of a sample frame into individual strata.  This enables you to sample the more efficient listed stratum at a higher rate and under sample the less efficient unlisted/unassigned stratum at a lower rate.  Every number in the cellular sample frame still has a probability of selection but DSS will yield a more productive sample over a simple EPSEM design. 

Click Here to learn more about the Advanced Cellular Frame today!

Coffee Quip: an insightful new video series about survey research topics that matter

Have you ever noticed how many of the best workplace conversations tend to happen around the water cooler or the coffee lounge? When coworkers converse in the midst of informal “stop and chat” spaces, they are more candid than they would be in an official meeting. Often, they tell better stories, too. You can pick up a lot of useful knowledge from experts by hanging around such spaces.  

To emulate those kinds of conversations, we would like to introduce you to Coffee Quip, a new MSG series of short video chats between a panel of product and subject matter experts. 

Click Here to Watch Now

The field of survey research is an ever more complex and dynamic one, and it can be hard to get at the inside knowledge needed to accomplish what you want to do. At MSG, we want our customers to benefit from the experience and wisdom of industry-leading Subject Matter Experts. They are the Yoda, the Obi-Wan, the architects of our products and services. They know how survey research gets done, what works and what doesn’t, and why.   

Coffee Quip: Need to Know Info That’s Easy to Watch 

Sometimes the best things come in small packages, and too much of a good thing can get to be too much. Sure, you can gain quality industry knowledge is by attending a formal webinar, but that can be time consuming. In light of this reality, we have produced each Coffee Quip episode to run a mere 8 to 12 minutes, less time than it takes to down your first cup of morning java.  

The informal, light, unscripted discussions are hosted by Marketing and Communications team member Greg Pizzola. You will learn about critical and timely survey research topics and products, such as Advanced Cellular Frame, Hybrid Sampling, and our ARCS platform. You also get to see members of our Sales Development and Customer Success teams, who are on the front lines working with clients every day. They pose the kinds of questions to our experts that customers are asking them.   

Coffee Quip is about your needs and interests, and we encourage you to submit topics for future discussion. Send your questions and topic ideas to

Make sure to subscribe to the MSG YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of the upcoming episodes.