New re­search shows that dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing in the con­sumer cel­lu­lar arena mat­ter of speed, and hav­ing the lat­est and great­est phones in stock…

Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY - Si­mon Din­gle

Price is ev­ery­thing when it comes to com­pet­ing in the tele­coms mar­ket – or so we’re told. Con­sumers, the con­ven­tional think­ing goes, will even sac­ri­fice ser­vice qual­ity for lower prices. While this may be true in the lower ends of the mar­ket, new re­search from Ac­cen­ture sug­gests that the speed of mo­bile data may be a more im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion – and in South Africa you have to have the lat­est and great­est smart­phones avail­able.

In a sur­vey of around 31 000 con­sumers in 26 coun­tries, the re­search found that the speed of mo­bile In­ter­net con­nec­tions was most of­ten cited by con­sumers as the top dif­fer­en­tia­tor for ser­vice providers.

A mas­sive 97% of re­spon­dents cited speed as im­por­tant. Un­sur­pris­ingly, 78% said there is room for im­prove­ment on their cur­rent net­work of choice. What should re­ally get the Vo­da­coms and MTNs of the world pay­ing at­ten­tion, how­ever, is that two-thirds of con­sumers sur­veyed said they would pay ad­di­tional monthly fees for mo­bile In­ter­net ser­vices that are faster than what they cur­rently have.

South Africa was some­what of an out­lier com­pared to other emerg­ing mar­kets sur­veyed, how­ever. South African users were shown to be a lit­tle less in­clined to­wards ac­cept­ing ex­tra cost for faster in­ter­net, but also dis­played a gen­eral sat­is­fac­tion with their cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in this re­gard.

South Africans also said that the de­vices on of­fer from their mo­bile net­works was im­por­tant. 46% of Vo­da­com cus­tomers, 45% of MTN cus­tomers and 48% of Cell C cus­tomers said that the mo­bile de­vices and op­er­at­ing sys­tems on of­fer from their ser­vice provider is key.

The re­search also looked at mo­bile trans­ac­tions and shows that 49% of con­sumers buy tick­ets for cinemas, theatres and other en­ter­tain­ment on the their mo­bile phones, 46% on other con­sumer goods and 38% on tick­ets for trans­port.

For un­der­dogs the war has to go be­yond price. Hav­ing the lat­est phone prod­ucts avail­able – and net­works built for broad­band – is es­sen­tial.

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