The National Communications Authority (NCA) Tuesday released the results of a nationwide Cellular Mobile Consumer Satisfaction Survey which was commissioned to determine perception of mobile phone users with regard to the services they receive from their service providers.
With consumers becoming more discerning, refined and more expectant of service providers and for consumers to have value for every pesewa they spend, the NCA for the first time since 2007 and 2009 made its findings public to ensure that Ghanaians have an understanding of how they perceive their service providers.
The survey has provided the Authority with empirical evidence to tackle identified gaps by focusing on compliance and monitoring and by developing regulations and contributing to policy development for the growth of the industry
The report said the telecom market in Ghana was characterized by vibrant competition with the presence of six international mobile network companies made up of Expresso, Tigo, MTN, Vodafone, Airtel and GLO-Mobile which offer consumers with varied choices of communication services.
Mr Selorm Aboetteka, a researcher at Policy Focus Limited who conducted the survey, said areas of focus were on service availability, ease of making calls within the networks and other networks, clarity of conversations, level of network security and price comparison among others.
According to him, the survey revealed that more people in the urban area experience lesser problems compared to rural areas and expressed the hope that the network operators who had looked at the report would take the right steps to correct the anomalies to ensure that consumers enjoy good quality service.
The report findings revealed that 74.7 % of mobile subscribers were satisfied with the services of their mobile network operators while 25.3 % were dissatisfied.
It also indicated areas that needed improvement as some operators were not able to meet all the benchmarks for the defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
As a primary mobile service provider, MTN accounts for 63% share of pre-paid
consumers, followed at a distance by Vodafone with nearly 16%. Expresso with less than 1% share is the least used as a primary service provider.
Nationwide mobile consumers are 52% urban and 48% rural split with MTN and Vodafone as the only mobile service providers with rural customer bases larger than their corresponding urban ones.
The two service providers control about 67% and 18% respectively of the rural customer base, together providing primary mobile services to over 85% of rural consumers.
Urban users of Expresso as primary mobile provider are more than three times the size of rural users and Glo also has a three times more urban users, and TiGo has more than two times as many urban users as rural ones.
AirTel’s urban customers are over one-and-half times more than their rural counterpart.
On consumer satisfaction, majority of respondent (74.7 percent) were satisfied with the performance of their Mobile Network Operators.
Nationally, a little over 50% of mobile service customers claimed they did not encounter any problem in their last 10 call attempts.
Expresso customers expressed the highest rate of hassle free calls at 71.0%, followed by Glo users (67.8%), TiGo users (63.6%), AirTel users (62.2%) and Vodafone users (54.9%) with MTN trailing behind with only 44.9% of users stating they had no problems.
The report indicated for all the service providers, the proportion of urban customers who did not encounter problems were consistently and significantly higher (0.05) than their rural counterparts.
On quality of reception 87.1% (11,430 out of13,119) respondents had good reception, followed closely by Tariffs/Billing by 86.0% (11,286 out of 13,119) respondents, coverage by 75.7%, and Ease of making calls at 75.6%,
Popularity levels of most activities are about the same for urban and rural consumers except for internet browsing, which was found to be more than twice as popular among urban (14%) than rural group (6%).
With the steady growth of the economy coupled with a sound regulatory environment and a rising cellular subscriber base, the mobile phone market has also rapidly expanded in new connections as well as a growing adoption of internet-enabled handsets or smart phones.
The National Communications Authority is enjoined by law to protect the interest of consumers of communications services with particular regards to the consumer’s choice, quality and value for money.
In a speech read on his behalf at the launch, Mr Paarock Vanpercy, the Director General of the NCA, said the Authority required providers of communication services to provide acceptable quality of service to their consumers as per their license conditions.
“The report should not be seen as a tool to criticize operators but as a tool which should be used to improve consumer experience. The NCA continues to work with all operators and since data was collected to the conclusion of the report, operators have invested a great deal into the networks. We are sure that the next survey, when finished will give such indications”, he said. GNA