Network speed ‘vital’ for Saudi consumers
Riyadh, June 26, 2014
Network speed is a significant factor that changes the behaviour of mobile broadband users in Saudi Arabia, a report said.
“The growth of mobile broadband usage in Saudi Arabia is driven by the high uptake of smartphones across the Kingdom,” said Ali Eid, president of Ericsson Saudi Arabia, commenting on the new report by Ericsson ConsumerLab, titled ”Life in the Fast Lane”, which evaluates the usage habits of consumers.
“Our findings reveal that smartphone users on faster networks have a more positive perception and loyalty towards their operators compared to users on slower networks, which provides operators with the opportunity to monetize their investments. Users on faster networks, for example, realize the true value of mobility with the perceived better experience.”
The research was conducted with 1,279 mobile broadband users, estimated to represent 35 per cent of the total population of Saudi Arabia. All respondents use mobile broadband through either a mobile phone or dongle, and 72 per cent have a prepaid connection.
Key findings in the report:
1. Faster networks affect users’ behavior
Users on faster networks behave differently than users on slower networks. Smartphone users on faster networks tend to have a more positive perception of the network operator, and the number of promoters (users who recommend their operators) is also higher.
2. User priorities are changing
Both “value for money” and “network performance” are two important areas that impact consumer satisfaction among all mobile broadband users. But, network performance is less of a concern for users on faster networks.
3. Advanced services are used more
More users on faster networks are accessing advanced data services like internet video calls, mobile payment and tethering compared to users on slower networks. As an example 19% of smartphone users on slower networks make online payments on mobile phone, while 34% of smartphone users on faster networks use this service.
4. Perceived extra costs are a deterrent
Consumers in Saudi Arabia perceive faster networks to be more expensive, although upgrading is in fact free in Saudi Arabia. Forty-four per cent of smartphone users who had rejected moving to faster networks cited expensive monthly fees as the reason for not doing so. This is one of the main barriers preventing people from subscribing to them.
“More than 65 per cent of the world’s population will be covered by LTE in 2019. In the same way, around 65 per cent of all mobile phones sold in Q1 2014 were smartphones,” Eid said.
“In this scenario, one way to serve the demand for increasing capacity, faster networks, and app coverage is to evolve mobile broadband networks into seamless heterogeneous networks.” – TradeArabia News Service