Picking a mobile service provider can be a juggling act: network coverage, or cheap rates? free phone, or no fixed contract? clear pricing, or customer service? bundling with other services, or going on the same network as family and friends?
Network coverage and cheaper rates are the most common reasons Australians choose their main mobile phone’s service provider, with Telstra tops on coverage and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) such as ALDI delivering cheaper rates. So why do mobile users choose the other providers?
Overall, almost 1 in 4 mobile users 14+ (24%) consider the plan’s included calls, texts or data allowance when deciding which provider to choose, the latest telecommunications research from Roy Morgan shows. 15% of mobile users cite call inclusions as a reason, 15% cite bigger data allowance, and 14% cite the number of included texts.
Among the top six providers, Amaysim has the highest proportion of customers choosing it for the number of included calls (with 28% of customers citing this as a reason), ahead of Optus (20%) and Virgin (18%). When it comes to texts, Optus leads with 19% of its mobile customers saying ‘yes’ thanks to the number of included SMS messages in the plan, ahead of Amaysim (18%) and Vodafone (15%). Amaysim, again, is the clear leader on data, with 1 in 3 of its customers (34%) saying the bigger allowance was a reason they chose it, followed by Virgin (27%) and Optus (20%).
% of provider's mobile customers who cite reason for choosing:
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) January – July 2015 n = 6,903 Australian mobile phone users 14+
Overall, 17% of Amasyim’s mobile customers chose the provider for all three reasons. Customers with Telstra or ALDI (the largest MVNO on the Telstra network) were less likely than average to cite any of these three reasons. Instead, Telstra’s mobile customers overwhelmingly prioritise better network coverage (69%) while ALDI’s are with it because of cheaper rates (70%).
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“In such a competitive space, mobile service providers need to identify gaps, forecast changes in mobile usage habits and attitudes, and mark out clear territory and try to ‘own’ that space. While Telstra is firmly established as the go-to provider among people wanting reliable network coverage, Optus has done well to claim the middle ground between premium and discount, and scores well across plan inclusions, rates, customer service, and trustworthiness.
“The third network operator Vodafone last week launched its new ‘BigLittleProtest’ advertising campaign, hoping to claim territory in what it perceives as the rising consumer desire for simpler call tariffs, fairer excess data usage and international roaming charges, and clear pricing of plans. Our latest June data shows Vodafone’s current mobile customers are only a bit more inclined than average to have chosen the provider due to its rates or price clarity, and are effectively just average for plan’s calls, texts and data. While the campaign’s creative looks spot-on, achieving its strategy will be difficult. Mobile users wanting clearer pricing are already heavily inclined toward choosing Amaysim, ALDI or Virgin, and even Optus has already staked a claim on this space.
“Instead, Vodafone’s current market edge is with family and friend recommendations and customers wanting to be on the same network. As the Protest campaign unfolds with iterations across TV, YouTube and social media, Roy Morgan will be closely tracking its impact on consumers’ mobile attitudes, switching intentions, and the reasons they choose which providers.”
Roy Morgan Research
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.
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