Mobile Internet performance expectations among UK smartphone owners are high and a significant portion of subscribers feel that even better broadband experiences are available. These key takeaways from Vasona Networks, Inc.’s latest annual survey of UK smartphone owners, indicate that the basis of competition increasingly hinges on flawless mobile broadband performance, suggesting that mobile network operators have a considerable opportunity for differentiation. Key data points from the survey include:
- Two-thirds (67%) of mobile broadband users expect, “good mobile data performance all of the time, with no temporary hiccups or outages;”
- 53% now blame their operator when apps don’t work like they expect (up from 47% last year), which is more than those who suspect device makers, app vendors and OS developers combined; and
- 40% believe that they can get better mobile broadband performance by switching providers.
While operators are under pressure from subscribers about the quality of the mobile broadband experience that they deliver, data uptake is on the rise:
- More than one-quarter (26%) of smartphone owners reported increasing their data plans in the past year; and
- Nearly one-quarter (23%) select a carrier primarily based on the quality of the mobile data experience.
Some operators are improving service quality to meet rising consumer data demands. One-third of respondents felt that their mobile broadband experience has gotten better during the past year. 37% would recommend their provider to a friend that wants great performance. Yet 42% believe all providers perform the same, indicating substantial opportunity to differentiate based on quality of experience.
“Reliable bandwidth is the currency that operators trade in today, and delivering anything less than consistently great experiences introduces competitive threats and risk of customer churn, as shown by our survey data,” says John Reister, vice president of marketing and product management for Vasona Networks. “Improving mobile broadband reliability and performance are great opportunities, but operators that don’t get out in front of the pack will become vulnerable.”
Additional findings from the survey suggest that operators should focus on improvements that boost mobile browsing performance. A majority of respondents (63%) say that “web pages loading slowly or not at all” is the single most frustrating experience when networks are slow.
Vasona Networks, which provides platforms for mobile network capacity and resource management and intelligence, conducted the survey online during early December. The questions were fielded by 1,035 UK online consumers who indicated that they use a smartphone with a mobile data plan. The company will participate in the “New Paradigms For Delivering Cost Effective Network QoE” session taking place at Mobile World Congress in February.