Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) annual wireless end-user survey reveals that the share of heavy users of advanced data services keeps rising globally, with 69 percent of subscribers worldwide fitting into that category. In the most advanced markets, such as South Korea, the result is as high as 84 percent.
In mature wireless markets overall, three-quarters of subscribers are considered heavy users of advanced services, up from 67 percent one year earlier. Customers qualify as heavy users if they use at least two of the following services once a week on a mobile device: video calling, send/receive emails, instant messaging and chat, browse the web, download or upload data files, play online games, use personalized applications, mobile payment, mobile TV, location based services, GPS navigation, augmented reality apps and/or show rooming.
Nokia gleaned the results from interviews with 11,693 wireless customers in mature markets (Italy, Spain, Canada, Korea, United Kingdom and United States), in-transition markets (Brazil and Russia) and emerging markets (China, Kenya, Mexico) during the latter half of 2013.
Last year's version of the study was issued by Nokia Siemens Networks, which subsequently became Nokia Solutions and Networks after Siemens dropped out, and is now Nokia's networks business, now that Nokia has sold its handset division to Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).
Nokia said 41 percent of customers in the markets surveyed think an operator must offer excellent network quality, even if it costs more. That is a 2 percentage-point increase from Nokia's 2013 report. Customers reported that messaging and Internet service quality is below their expectations in all markets, with 60 percent experiencing problems with mobile data and application usage.
The survey also showed that 40 percent of customers globally intend to switch service providers in the next year, a fairly static result over the past two surveys. Not surprisingly, cost and billing remain the top factors across the world when wireless customers are deciding whether to stay with an operator.
In emerging markets, network and service quality are the next most important factors, with 25 percent of subscribers describing those factors as having the most impact on their decision to churn. Within in-transition markets, the importance of network and service quality jumped to 37 percent. In mature markets, quality was cited by 29 percent of respondents as their top churn-related factor. Customer care was considered more important in mature markets than in the other markets, with 18 percent of respondents citing that factor as most important to their decision to switch providers.
The Nokia study also showed that 75 percent of subscribers consider security as the operator's responsibility. Of those, 89 percent who cited security as being important, 40 percent are likely to churn due to security issues. In addition, 40 percent are willing to pay extra for security protection, the vendor said.
- see this Nokia release
Special report: Check out the Q1 performance metrics for the 8 top U.S. wireless carriers
NSN: VoLTE better than OTT VoIP for carriers, customers
Nokia Siemens study shows why it's important to get VoLTE right