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Telcos could lose half their customers: Ovum

Telcos could lose half their customers: Ovum

Analyst firm reveals finding of study on mobile operator churn

Ovum has revealed that telecommunications operators can expect to lose up to half their customers in the next 12 months as a quarter of consumers are set to switch providers in the coming year.

The claim is based on a survey of 15,000 consumers and 2700 enterprises across “15 major global markets.”

While reflecting an international churn average, Ovum consumer services director, Angel Dobardziev, said the research also highlights the significant differences in users’ churn patterns across geographies.

“For example, the survey finds that almost twice as many customers of Airtel India or LG U+ in Korea plan to churn more than the global average of 23 per cent,” he said.

“In contrast customers of Vodafone Germany or NTT DoCoMo in Japan are much more loyal, with only about one in ten indicating they plan to switch operators.”

The survey also shows that the quality of the mobile broadband experience is the leading driver for mobile operator churn; 37 per cent of consumers stated to have left or plan to leave an operator due to slow connection speeds.

Apple iPhone users proved the most likely to switch providers, and mostly to find a provider with faster network speeds.

“Being online is by far the most important thing in consumers’ digital media lives,” Dobardziev said. “When we asked consumers to rate a range of activities on a scale from ‘essential’ to ‘unimportant’, browsing the Web came top, with nearly six out of ten consumers rating it as essential. By comparison, an old favourite such as watching TV was rated by only three out 10 consumers as essential, scoring as less important than reading the news (50 per cent of consumers), reading a book (45 per cent) and listening to music (42 per cent).”

Dobardziev said that operators need to deepen their understanding on consumers’ propensity to switch, not just in their own market, but more broadly given that global trends permeate national borders.

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