Consumers happy with telecoms services

By Staff reporter | 05 Jun 2019 at 11:43hrs
Consumers of telecommunications and postal services in Zimbabwe are generally happy with service provision although there is room for improvement, a 2018 Consumer Satisfaction Survey Report shows.

A research done by Topline Research Solutions (TRS) showed that all the consumer satisfaction indices (CSI) were above average (50 percent) to highs of around 78 percent, which has been viewed as a positive sentiment although more still needs to be done to improve service delivery.

This is the third survey on consumer satisfaction, with the comparative released in 2015. According to TRS, mobile telephone services scored 69 percent and 77 percent for household and corporate consumers respectively.

CSI for fixed telephone services was almost flat between 2015 and 2018 at 73 percent and 74 percent for household and corporate consumers in that order.

For internet and data services, both household and corporate consumers scored 62 percent and 77 percent respectively while there was noticeable decline in household consumers from 73 percent recorded in 2015. Both corporate and household consumers had positive scores for regulator, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) CSI at 56 and 52 percent respectively, but still lacked information on some roles and mandate of the regulator.

In terms of usage, fixed telephone services declined as only 2 percent of household consumers claimed to be using it compared to 3,1 percent recorded in the 2015 survey.

However, usage remained high among corporate consumers to 53 percent although it was a decline from 2015 report that pegged it at 74 percent.

Of the surveyed consumers, 93 percent of household said they used mobile telephone services compared to 72 percent of corporate consumers. However, usage of mobile telephone services declined to 93 percent from 99 percent and 53 percent from 74 percent for both household and corporate consumers respectively.

Econet maintained its market dominance commanding 89 percent of the surveyed household consumers and 88 percent of corporate consumers.

In terms of satisfaction network parameters for all the three mobile networks - Econet, Telecel and NetOne - both corporate and household consumers had positive ratings for call success, short message service (SMS) delivery and quality of service. Consumers, however, expressed concerns over quality of service which they argued still need more to meet global standards and quality.

"All mobile network operators should always monitor critical network parameters, such as network quality, network availability and voice quality. They should also invest in technological innovations to bring more convenience through self-help mechanisms," said TRS sector head Brian Mahuni.

The survey also shows that usage of internet and data services on the market grew to 34 percent for household from 29 percent recorded in the 2015 while corporate side also went up to 86 percent from 83 percent.

For courier services usage on the market has declined 2 percent of household consumers using the services compared to 2,4 percent in 2015. Corporate consumers remained the dominant users for courier service but declined to 38 percent from 57,7 percent reported in 2015.

Potraz director general Dr Gift Machengete said the survey report was an opportunity for service providers to identify solutions that enhance service delivery. The report shows there is room for improvements in the sector, he said.

"This is a basic study upon which service providers can now look into their businesses and identify ways of improving service provisions.

"Operators can now further investigate on their own and see areas that need improvement as per consumer requests," he said at the launch of the report yesterday in Harare.

Other areas of concerns identified by the consumers were for operators to quickly respond to vandalised infrastructure to avoid prolonged disruption of services. Data and internet service customers also bemoaned the slow speed for both uploads and downloads as well as addressing incidences of data losses.



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