Earlier this year, Ericsson, a Swedish multinational networking and telecom icon, presented its Consumer and Industry Insight report that points to the changes that operators have to make in their mobile broadband offerings.
“Consumers’ expectations have changed, and telcos have to act upon their changing behaviour to achieve a solid foundation for 5G adoption,” representatives for Ericsson said.
The report, based on the views of 800 million smartphone users globally, is said to be the biggest 5G consumer expectation study to date. According to Jasmeet Sethi, Senior Advisor, Ericsson Consumer & Industry Lab, this latest study uncovers untapped consumer needs that must be fulfilled by telcos for adequate 5G adoption. From transparent and honest mobile plan advertising to 5G-enriched services at affordable prices, consumers’ expectations demand the attention of network operators.
Here are some of the major changes that today’s mobile broadband users expect from their telecom operator.
Simplified and Trustworthy Buying Experience
Fifty-seven percent of smartphone users find it confusing to wade through all the available options for the best data plans. They also find it complex to understand what’s included in the plans, thanks to the operator’s frequent changes in prices and campaigns.
Given this complexity, many consumers are unaware of their plan’s data allowance, which leads to misalignment between what customers buy and what they use. Consequently, heavy data users end up purchasing smaller monthly data allowances than they need, while light data users buy more than they require, which leads to a negative customer experience.
That’s why consumers want telcos to be transparent and honest in their offerings. Recently, the ACCC has put telecom companies on notice for using false and misleading advertising.
Utilize Unused Data
Cost-conscious mobile phone customers often fail to use their allocated mobile data each month, creating wasted data. Consumers don’t want to pay for something they don’t use. Instead, customers would prefer to bank up their unused gigabytes to access them when necessary.
On average, mobile users with capped data plans end up with 40% of their data allowance left unused by the end of the month. Instead of simply losing that unused data, customers would prefer to trade it, gift it or invest it. Offering the ability to roll over unused data rewards telcos with customer loyalty.
Recently, many telcos have rolled out new offers of prepaid and postpaid plans, allowing consumers to move their unused gigabytes into a data bank. Prepaid customers must recharge their plan before it expires to save unused data.
Personalized Mobile Data Plans
Consumers prefer choosing products and services that best fit their individual needs. One size doesn’t fit all in the telecom industry, which means that a company that allows for tailored plans is more likely to have higher levels of customer satisfaction. Telcos have to look into market segmentation to increase their efficiency and keep their consumers happy.
Many providers have already begun offering flexible data plans, letting users decide exactly how many call minutes, text messages, and gigabytes of data they want to pay for. For example, Yomojo ‘Personalised’ plans and Vodafone ‘MyMix’ plans that let you build your own personalized plans.
Peace of Mind
70 percent of consumers buying ‘unlimited’ data plans do not use all of their mobile data. Most of these consumers still use 2.5 times more Wi-Fi than cellular data.
It means smartphone users are not actually looking for an upper limit on their data but rather a sense of having unlimited access to quality internet speeds, which gives them a feeling of freedom and peace of mind.
Access to 5G at Affordable Cost
Consumers have highlighted several areas that need to be considered by telcos regarding mobile broadband offerings in the coming 5G era. Customers expect to see 5G as the mainstream network within three to four years of its launch. More than 50 percent smartphone users want to use 5G-powered services within two years of its launch.
Consumers also expect improvements such as increased battery life, easy connectivity to the Internet of Things, and other improvements in function in order to become more reliant on smartphones using mobile data. Industry analysts forecast new standards of operator-consumer relationship, such as paying a single fee for each 5G service and connected device.
As new technologies arrive, customer’s tastes evolve – making it even more important for operators to meet consumer needs. From delivering a smooth buying experience to providing access to advanced 5G facilities, telcos that want to get ahead will allow consumer demands to drive the products and services they offer.