What drives consumer choice in telecoms
A new study shows network coverage and mobile phone operating systems are what sway SA consumers when it comes to making telecommunications purchasing decisions. By Craig Wilson.
Their smartphone’s operating system, network coverage and quality of service are what consumers in SA and worldwide prioritise when it comes to making a decision about which telecommunications products and services to purchase.
This is a key finding of the Mobile Web Watch 2012 study conducted by technology management consulting firm Accenture. The study was compiled from surveys with 17 225 consumers in SA, Austria, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. More than a thousand South Africans were included in the survey.
Consumers’ purchasing decisions are strongly influenced by the operating systems powering smartphones, with 85% of respondents in the markets surveyed saying it’s a factor in any purchase. In SA, more than 90% of respondents say it influenced their buying decision.
Though Google’s Android is the most popular operating system across those surveyed, Apple’s iOS is the most popular in Switzerland, the UK and Ireland. Unsurprisingly, the BlackBerry platform remains the most popular in SA.
Network coverage is the primary concern for almost 90% of those surveyed when choosing a mobile operator, followed by connection speed and price.
Respondents from Mexico and SA have the highest percentage of users of mobile e-mail and instant messaging services, with more than 80% of respondents in each country saying they use their devices for these purposes regularly.
More than two-thirds of users in both developed and developing markets connect to the Internet on their mobiles, the study shows. Almost half use their phones to do banking in some form or other.
Smartphones continue to drive mobile Internet access, with 57% of SA consumers surveyed saying they intend to buy a smartphone in the near future. This compares favourably to the 46% average for all of the countries surveyed.
“The growth in use of mobile devices to access the Internet, in conjunction with a willingness to pay for mobile services such as cloud or premium services, is opening up a host of opportunities for market players in the communications, media and technology industries,” says Mark Joseph, an executive director in Accenture SA’s communications, media and technology group.
Mobile applications are also fuelling growth. Of those surveyed, 71% say they have downloaded apps to their phones. Most popular are those that provide information such as weather, news and public transport data. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media