Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 - Roy Morgan Research

Better network coverage and cheaper rates were the top two reasons mobile phone consumers choose their current provider in 2013, with almost 3 in 5 mobile users (59%) nominating one or both as deciding factors, the latest research from Roy Morgan shows.

37% of Australians 14+ cited better coverage as why they went with their current provider; 29% cited cheaper rates—but just 7% cited both. Seemingly, when it comes to choosing a service provider, many Australian mobile consumers feel they are making a choice between network quality and price.

Among the 9.25 million capital city consumer-pays mobile users, coverage and rates were each a reason for almost three million (32%), but only around 650,000 said both were factors.

Almost half (46%) of those in country areas include better network coverage on their list of reasons, nearly double the number for whom cheaper rates were a deciding factor (25%).

Mobile owners 25-34 form the frontline of the quality vs price arena, where youthful concern for price encounters the more mature need for reliability and quality. Consequently 25-34 year-olds have the highest proportion of mobile owners who cite cheaper rates (37%) and better coverage (40%), with 11% citing both.

Consumer Mobile Owners who Chose Provider for Coverage and/or Price:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January – December 2013, n = 7580 Australians 14+ with a Consumer Pays Mobile Phone

Tim Martin, General Manager – Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Our research shows that although the majority of Australian mobile phone owners chose their network provider in part based on its coverage quality or cheaper rates, very few of us say that both these considerations were a factor. This suggests mobile owners perceive quality and price as two distinct attributes, each offered by a different set of service providers. 

“Telcos have thus often tended to market their mobile services in one sphere or the other, but there could be valuable market area up for grabs if a provider could demonstrate—and market—both that cheaper rates don’t have to come at the expense of network quality and that highlighting extensive coverage does not imply premium pricing.

“While network coverage and cheaper rates are the two most common reasons people choose a provider, regardless of where they live or how old they are, the secondary considerations can vary dramatically, especially with age.

“Younger mobile owners 14-24 are much more likely than average to choose a provider based on recommendations from family members or friends, or to be on the same network as them. When they get a bit older, things like plans and new phone packaging options become more important. Older still, and being able to bundle the mobile phone with other household telecommunications is more of a factor.”  

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Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com

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