Network coverage the main reason for selecting mobile service provider in India


Good mobile network coverage above all other attractive
schemes is the unequivocal reason for the subscribers’ preference for a service
provider of mobile telephony, according to a survey conducted by Opsbuds.

From its recent survey, which adopted a three layered
assessment of the minds of the mobile phone service users, Opsbuds found that
bundle offers such as packaging handsets with free connection and widespread
retail outlets are not a deciding factor for selecting a service provider by
mobile phone users. On the contrary good coverage has been established as the
singular top consideration across the circles.

Opsbuds’ survey coinciding soon after the introduction of
the Mobile Number Portability(MNP) system, however, revealed several other
factors that went to bond service providers with the subscribers.

The top of mind reason for preferring a service provider
is good network coverage for 80 percent of the respondents which is the basic
expectation of the service. The unaided reason for as many as 37 percent is
brand image.

Interestingly only on being aided a reason as little as
23 percent indicated innovative tariff plans to choose a service provider. Even
in the case of prepaid customers on being aided low denomination recharge (~15
percent) and full recharge (13 percent) option featured as a reason.
Therefore, there seems to be a consensus among subscribers that pricing is not
a decision maker, wonder why the Telcos are at a price war hitting their ARPUs.

The quantitative research used the simple random sampling
method over a statistically representative sample size of 2,408 mobile users.

The survey was conducted across the 4 major telecom
circles and the 4 metros in India , which include, Metros – (Bombay, Chennai,
Delhi, Kolkata), Circle A – (Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh , rest of Tamil
Nadu, rest of Maharashtra, Goa), Circle B –  (Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya
Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Haryana, rest of West Bengal, Uttar
Pradesh – West (UPW) Uttar Pradesh – East (UPE), Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim) and
Circle C – (Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Assam, North East, Jammu & Kashmir,
Himachal Pradesh).


Another phenomenon that is contrary to popular perception
is the delta in usage between Airtel and Vodafone seems to be significantly
higher than otherwise perceived with Airtel (67 percent) and Vodafone (18
percent). Given that Opsbuds adopted the simple random method without
introducing any quota bias; this could well be the case. Opsbuds will
investigate this phenomenon in their next report.

The fact that, good coverage is the major reason across
age, gender and circles will be a wakeup call for most of the service
providers, who were under the impression that brand and good tariff plans alone
will make them sail through the customers mind share. Also, an interesting
finding was that IDEA/RCOM was among the top 3 performers in terms of brand
image ahead of Tata, MTS and Uninor.

We felt the need of bringing a comprehensive report on
what the Indian consumers expect from the telecom service providers and some of
the findings are very encouraging for the service providers. With the Indian customer
evolving and becoming more tech savvy, the telecom providers need to address
the market very differently,” said K K Cariapa, chief buddy, Opsbuds.

By Team
[email protected]