Consumers planning to make a change to their mobile plan have sited higher data speeds as the main factor. This is according to the annual series of Connected Consumer surveys by specialist adviser, Analysys Mason that analyse mobile customer behaviour in Sub-Saharan Africa, looking at purchasing criteria when changing mobile plans; the impact of data pricing and network coverage on customer satisfaction; and the adoption of OTT services such as WhatsApp.
Insights from the surveys as shared by Stephen Sale, research director at Analysys Mason show that 30% of respondents intend to make a change to their mobile plan in the next six months but more significantly, 44% of them stated that they were looking for improved data speeds, with the highest proportions occurring in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.
The number two and three factors were, improved network coverage (cited by 33% of respondents planning to make a change) and larger data allowances (32%).
Overage policies negatively affect customer satisfaction of postpaid customers in South Africa.
In South Africa, 51% of postpaid users with handset bundles regularly exceed their data allowances and report lower satisfaction scores, probably due to the pay-as-you-use overage policies common in South Africa. Only around 20% of respondents stated that they use data within the limits of their allowances.
Operators have little control over handset distribution in much of the region.
Consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa often choose non-operator channels for their handset purchases and pay in cash. In Ghana and Nigeria, operator channels accounted for as little as 16% of all handset sales.
WhatsApp is the leading OTT communications app in the region but voice-centric apps such as imo, Skype and WhatsCall are also popular.
WhatsApp was the most popular OTT service in each country and was used by 86% of respondents overall. 42% of respondents said that they use apps for free voice calling. The high rates of VoIP usage should be of particular concern to operators as smartphone penetration increases.
Sub-Saharan Africa is a mobile-first region for ecommerce.
43% of survey respondents made online purchases at least once a month. Mobile handsets are the primary means of access, with 74% of respondents making purchases through their mobile phone, far above any other device category. Access to a mobile money wallet is a strong predictor of mobile commerce engagement. In Kenya, 80% of Safaricom’s customers made regular purchases from their mobile devices.