News Column

Ericsson ConsumerLab: Network speed is vital for consumers in Saudi Arabia

June 26, 2014



•    Ericsson ConsumerLab report revealed the impact of network speed on the satisfaction and loyalty of Saudi consumers towards their mobile operators in the kingdom

•    Report findings reveal that network speed in Saudi Arabia also impacts the adoption of advanced services – more users on faster networks are accessing data services like mobile payment and video calls



A new report by Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) ConsumerLab, titled "Life in the Fast Lane", evaluates the usage habits of consumers in Saudi Arabia, revealing that network speed is a significant factor that changes the behavior of mobile broadband users in the Kingdom.

Ali Eid, President of Ericsson Saudi Arabia said: "The growth of mobile broadband usage in Saudi Arabia is driven by the high uptake of smartphones across the Kingdom. 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 percent of the total population of Saudi Arabia. All respondents use mobile broadband through either a mobile phone or dongle, and 72 percent have a prepaid connection.

The key findings in the report are as follows:

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. %44 percent 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.





Eid concluded: "More than 65 percent of the world's population will be covered by LTE in 2019. In the same way, around 65 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q1 2014 were smartphones. 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."



The Life in the Fast Lane report is available at: http://www.ericsson.com/res/docs/2014/consumerlab/life-in-the-fast-lane.pdf






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Source: SmartArabs


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