Quality of service remains and area for operators to focus on

Mobile operators have an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn and drive new revenue streams by competing on service quality of experience (QoE), according to the latest research.

The research, which questioned UK consumers on the quality of their mobile broadband and data services experience across mobile handsets, smartphones, tablets, laptops and dongle-powered devices, shows that 77% of users having encountered some form of quality of experience issue using services on mobile broadband, according to new consumer research launched today by YouGov and Acision, enabler of mobile messaging and data services.

That figure is a mild improvement on a similar survey conducted by Acision and YouGov last year, which found that 84% of consumers had encountered issues. While overall satisfaction may have risen slightly, operators still face challenges with regard to improving mobile broadband service delivery, with 54% of consumers having experienced slow speeds and 42% having had connection problems, the research showed.

The increasing popularity of time sensitive, data heavy applications and services, driven by the soaring adoption of smartphones and feature rich devices, has not only put pressure on operators’ networks but means that consumers have higher expectations of the quality of services they receive, claimed Acision.

However, while service usage is higher, 77% of consumers who use VoIP on their mobile phone stated that they have encountered problems with the service, while a further 70% of video users have experienced problems when they access video. For video specifically, stalling was found to be the most frequent and least acceptable issue (60%), followed by having to wait a long time for the video to play (26%).

The research also revealed that only 11% of consumers disagree or strongly disagree with operator intervention to optimise video during periods of congestion, and 21% of respondents are even willing to pay to prevent the video from stalling and improve the overall quality.

The findings also highlight a strong desire among consumers for more context aware and personal preference oriented services. Altogether, 70% of those questioned stated that they would like to be notified in real time about network congestion, while another 71% wanted to be notified about large download sizes, which may impact their data usage.

Greater tariff flexibility and differentiation also appears to be high on consumers’ wish lists, with 26% of video users stating that they would be happy to pay for a service that would enable them to save on their bundle. Nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents, meanwhile, wanted the option to delay application updates to a time when downloads are free.