Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mobile broadband providers must improve service to sustain growth

Approximately one in eight mobile broadband users have either replaced their fixed line ISP or chosen a mobile broadband service in preference to a fixed ISP service, according to market research firm, YouGov.

According to Ofcom around 13% of households have dispensed with their landlines and are accessing the internet through the mobile phone network. However, not all mobile broadband users are satisfied with the service they receive, according to the research. More than a quarter of existing mobile broadband customers can be considered unlikely to renew their mobile broadband contracts or to continue to use mobile broadband on a pre-paid basis.

Three main groups of reasons have been identified as driving dissatisfaction, with connection speed and expense heading staying connected as the main factors.

Commenting on the results, Marek Vaygelt, head of technology and telecommunications consulting at YouGov, said: "Customers find mobile broadband easy to use and install but transmission speeds and to a lesser extent network coverage reduce the initial enjoyment of getting up and running. It is in these areas that fixed ISPs have a distinct advantage and need to concentrate their marketing effort to minimise customer loss."

He continued: "For mobile operators, the challenge is to improve network coverage to a level where customers' satisfaction levels rise and churn is reduced. The goldrush is coming to an end. Now the operators need to consolidate by improving their networks and tackling the fear and uncertainty that some potential new customers have about price".

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