What consumers really think of SA's mobile operators - TechCentral

What consumers really think of SA’s mobile operators

Antony Seeff

Antony Seeff

South Africans either love Vodacom, or hate it, according to cellular tariff optimisation specialist Tariffic.

The company reached the conclusion after analysing how people have used the company’s retail consumer-focused website, which went live on 1 March.

“Since the launch, thousands of South Africans have used the site looking for the best contracts based on their actual unique usage across all of the four mobile networks,” it said.

Most people don’t care what cellular network they are on — they just want the cheapest price, Tariffic said. “But if they do prefer a network, they love — and hate — Vodacom the most.”

The company said that results from the first 7 000 people who have used the website show that more than half (53%) of consumers want to see the best packages based on their actual usage across all four mobile networks. Most consumers are looking for the best deal as opposed to the best network.

However, when consumers selected which networks to include or exclude from their results, 17% were only interested in Vodacom, while 21% didn’t want to see results from Vodacom at all.

“This is a fairly high number showing consumers have either a love or hate relationship with Vodacom. The relatively high price of Vodacom contracts may be one of the reasons for why Vodacom has a reasonably high ‘exclude’ percentage,” Tariffic said.

Some 8% of users only wanted to see MTN contracts, while 12% were not interested in MTN at all. Results for Cell C were very different, with only 3% interested in Cell C only, while 9% were not interested in Cell C at all.

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“This may indicate that the Cell C branding campaign has a long way to go in building consumer loyalty,” the company said.

“Results for Telkom Mobile are even more concerning, with only 2% of people interested in Telkom-only deals, and 8% not wanting to ever see a Telkom Mobile result in their deal offers at all. Although Telkom is the newbie on the block, this indicates that they are yet to find a place in the hearts and minds of South Africans.”

Of all users, 82% were still happy to view contracts from the two big networks, MTN and Vodacom combined, while only 9% specifically didn’t want a contract from either or both of the big two.

Tariffic, whose main focus is helping companies reduce their mobile bills, said the same trends are apparent in the corporate space.

“We find that most companies are interested in staying with their current networks, or in moving to one of the two big players, namely Vodacom and MTN, with Vodacom taking the majority of interest,” said CEO Antony Seeff.

Cell C and Telkom are often not automatically considered by Tariffic’s corporate client base, Seeff said.  — (c) 2016 NewsCentral Media

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