A new re­search project by IBM that fuel con­sumer telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions oper­a­tors as lit­tle more than plumbers.

Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY -

Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions is a new ball­game in the post-2008 econ­omy. Con­sumer con­fi­dence is up and growth continues for the ma­jor play­ers, es­pe­cially those that run their own net­work and ser­vice provider businesses. The cus­tomer per­spec­tive has trans­formed, how­ever, as smart­phones con­tinue to dis­place all other forms of per­sonal com­put­ers and cus­tomers turn away from tra­di­tional voice and SMS chan­nels to ‘over-the-top’ (OTT) com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices like What­sApp and Skype.

One of the most com­pre­hen­sive stud­ies of the mod­ern mar­ket has just been com­pleted by the IBM In­sti­tute for Busi­ness Value in its 2014 Global Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Con­sumer Sur­vey that sam­pled 22 000 cus­tomers in 35 coun­tries in­clud­ing the USA, China, UK, Brazil and South Africa.

The re­port showed the mas­sive im­pact of so­cial fac­tors in the buy­ing de­ci­sions of con­sumers, and also how this is en­hanced with on­line so­cial net­work­ing. It also re­vealed that cus­tomers in emerg­ing mar­kets ex­pect to be spend­ing more on telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in the fu­ture – a coun­ter­in­tu­itive find­ing. The high­est ex­pected in­creases in spend­ing can be found in In­dia, China, Kenya and Nigeria. While this is good news for oper­a­tors, the re­search also showed how net­works play a di­min­ished role in terms of ser­vices.

An­other, more sur­pris­ing, f in­d­ing is that more good than bad is shared on so­cial net­work­ing about ex­pe­ri­ences with ser­vice providers. Forty per­cent of cus­tomers said that they of­ten share neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ences while 53% said that they al­ways share pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences. The per­cent­age of con­sumers rec­om­mend­ing their provider to oth­ers ex­ceeds 60% in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Mex­ico, Turkey and Greece.

The sur­vey also showed a 23% rise in mo­bile phone us­age in emerg­ing mar­kets com­pared to -2% in de­vel­oped coun­tries.

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