The research, which was conducted between June and November 2010, provides a unique insight into consumer perceptions of mobile broadband use in the United Kingdom, North America, Brazil, Australia and Singapore. The research explores consumer observations including Quality of Experience (QoE), customer satisfaction and video quality as well as acceptance of fairness policies and willingness to pay for possible Value Added Services (VAS).
Steven van Zanen, SVP Marketing, Mobile Data Control, Acision said: “The motivation to undertake this global research has been the phenomenal uptake of mobile broadband worldwide and the rumoured Quality of Experience issues accompanying its steady rise. One of the key objectives of the research has been to quantify this and determine whether global parallels exist in its development lifecycle. We have been surprised by the remarkable resemblance between these different markets and see a clear basis for pro active operator strategies to seize the opportunity that exists in mobile broadband.”
The Acision research shows that 71% of consumers use mobile regularly throughout the week and are simply asking operators to further develop the mobile broadband service from where it is today with 63% of global consumers willing to pay for mobile broadband VAS. Another great area of opportunity is Quality of Experience. There are of course issues to solve here, but to improve Quality of Experience, 67% of consumer’s support the application of fairness principles and another 60% would like video optimization to be applied. These are key capabilities that operators can apply to compete at an entirely new level; Quality of Experience.
These opportunities cannot be ignored with QoE issues being widespread, with 79% of global consumers suffering issues of some kind including experiencing slow speeds (62%), network coverage issues (39%) and connection drops (36%). 74% of video consumers are stating regular issues like frequent pausing and long waiting times. Worldwide this is driving a churn potential of 31% which is nearly equivalent in all countries.
“Operators are already doing all they can to expand bandwidth but our research shows that some of the QoE issues are intrinsic even in best practice networks, ” continued van Zanen. “A further investment in capability is required to reach to the next stage of mobile broadband evolution.”
To address challenges with mobile broadband services and seize the potential revenue opportunity, changes in operator capabilities are required at three main levels:
• Data layer: High performance and reliable components that handle network traffic.
• Content layer: Best-in-class components which are able to optimise specific content services such as video or browsing.
• Control layer: Highly intelligent components which enable real-time, complex and rich decision-making.
“Operators will then need to develop rich service offerings to address individual consumer requirements and support paid-for optimized or premium services, delivered via a bundle or transaction-based offering that consumers both understand and can relate to, ” concluded van Zanen.
Global consumer research key findings
Customer satisfaction and loyalty: Mobile broadband is seen as an important and valuable service by the majority of users. A significant amount of consumers, however, are dissatisfied with certain of the aspects of the service:
• 60% of global consumers stated reliability, coverage or speed as the most important service aspect. Other aspects like price, usage allowance or usage control are perceived as most important by 40 % of consumers.
• Significant levels of dissatisfaction exist with coverage (29%) and pricing levels (28%) being the most important areas.
• 79% of customers globally have QoE issues of some kind including slow speeds (62%), network coverage (39%), connection stability and unable to connect (both at 36%). Only 21% of respondents state that they haven’t experienced any issues.
• Video QoE issues are experienced by 74% of the 37% of consumers watching videos. Issues such as waiting time for the video to play and frequent pauses both affect 54% of video viewers.
• Churn potential is considerable at 31%, with remarkably low variance between countries.
Consumer support for fairness, optimisation and VAS: Operators can seize the opportunity in mobile broadband through high levels of consumer acceptance:
• Fairness policies - Consumers, once they understand the need for resource management, have a high acceptance of policies (67%) that enable a fair allocation of the available capacity. Many consumers (35%) are even prepared to pay a premium for the service if it provides an improved QoE.
• Video optimisation – 60% of respondents are willing to accept video optimisation as long as they benefit from an improvement of those aspects they find most important in their service experience, especially less stalling of videos.
• Paid Value Added Services – 63% of consumers state a clear need for some kind of VAS service and a willingness to pay an additional fee for services like notifications (41%), fair bandwidth management (35%), spend control (35%), roaming (34%), shared bundle (33%), customisation (30%), content compression to save on bundle (29%) and priority (26%). This provides a clear marketable consumer segment where operators worldwide can build a more diverse and long term revenue model.
The full report can be found and downloaded on the right hand side of this page, and provides further insight into Acision’s research and analysis.
As a world leader in mobile data, Acision (Acision.com) powers innovation and profitable growth in mobile data services. As a pioneer of mobile messaging, Acision’s real time mobile data solutions support its customers worldwide to drive new revenues with innovative services while controlling, optimising and monetising data traffic.
About Acision Broadband Mobility Suite
Acision Broadband Mobility Suite is the most affordable, scalable mobile broadband solution for the breadth of capability provided. It combines all of the key capabilities operators need to address in today’s mobile broadband challenge such as policy management and enforcement, web and media optimization, service allowance and bundle management, location-awareness and VAS – uniquely pairing control and cost saving measures with the creation of revenue generation.
As a single solution, Acision Broadband Mobility Suite enables mobile operators to control all types of internet traffic and ensure a profitable, reliable mobile broadband business today and tomorrow. It leverages Acision’s unparalleled experience in massively scalable data service solutions and provides a TCO which is affordable even at the most extreme levels of mobile data growth. Acision Broadband Mobility Suite uses common hardware, offering independent scaling of each functional layer.
From June to November 2010, Acision commissioned a number of independent market research agencies (YouGov, Quantinet and Toluna) to undertake a detailed survey to understand consumer perceptions of mobile broadband in the UK, United States, Brazil, Singapore and Australia. The research covered key aspects associated to mobile broadband today, including Quality of Experience (QoE), customer satisfaction levels, perceived video quality, the potential of Value Added Services (VAS) and consumer awareness and acceptance of fairness policies and content optimisation.
For every region, the Acision research focused on all aspects of mobile broadband including the usage of the mobile internet on Smartphones, mobile handsets, dongles, modem sticks, data cards, netbooks, and integrated mobile broadband within laptops. All the research was conducted using the same questionnaire and panel based methodology all using representative sample of over 1000 consumers per market aged 18 years and up.