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Reliance Jio tops in user satisfaction, but call drop concerns remain

Percentage of customers giving 4 or 5 stars

Reliance Jio users are a happier lot than customers of other services, but call drops and network availability remain key concerns, according to a survey conducted by a market research firm Velocity MR.

The firm conducted a study among more than 2000 smartphone users across the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad and Kochi via an online panel poll in the age group of 18-45.

Velocity MR did not clarify whether the survey was sponsored by a client or done independently.

In the survey, the company chose only users from upper-income groups — known as SEC A & B — with a female participation rate of 30%.

JIO TOPS IN SUBSCRIBERS

Surprisingly, out of the randomly chosen sample of users from the eight cities, the highest market share belonged not to Bharti Airtel — the market leader — but the newcomer.

A total of 44% of the total people surveyed were using Jio’s services, while 42% were using Airtel. 36% were using Vodafone, while 22% were on Idea. The numbers add up to more than 100% because most of the respondents carry dual-SIM phones.

In Jio’s case, 18% were using their services on single-SIM devices, with no back-up connection, while the remaining 82% were using dual-SIM phones which also had another operator’s SIM for back-up.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION & USP

Internet speed satisfaction levels

The new operator topped customer satisfaction levels, with 78% of its users giving it either 5/5 or 4/5.

The second runner up was Vodafone, with 67% of its users giving it 4 or 5 stars. Surprisingly, the number three spot was a tie between Bharti Airtel and BSNL, at 66%.

Idea followed at 65% and Tata DoCoMo at 54%.

86% of Jio users said they intended to continue using its services in the future.

The key reason for using the new operator was highlighted as ‘free daily data’ by 65%, and ‘fast 4G speed’ by 64%.

59% were using it because of its free calls.

Only 4% of the users were using their existing phone number on Jio, with the remaining 96% going with a new number.

OTHER OPERATOR

With 82% using the newcomer’s services on dual-SIM devices, the question of who their ‘other’ or ‘previous’ operator also assumes importance.

39% said their previous or second operator was Airtel, 33% said Vodafone and 25% Idea Cellular.

19% had Tata DoCoMo and 14% BSNL.

VOICING CONCERNS

Despite the high overall satisfaction levels, the new entrant’s subscribers were not completely happy with the consistency of voice services.

The newcomer ranked at No.5 in terms of being able to give voice calls without drops — though the difference between the players in this respect wasn’t much.

The highest ranked player in terms of providing a service without call drops was BSNL.

59% of BSNL users expressed satisfaction in this regard, followed by Vodafone and Idea with 57% happy customers and Airtel at 56%.

Jio users’ satisfaction level was at 54% in this regard.

In terms of network consistency (or signal availability), Vodafone was ranked the highest by 77% (compared to its users in the sample size).

Airtel scored 68%, Idea and BSNL at 66% and Jio was at 65%. Jio, being the newcomer, is still building out its network.

In terms of voice quality, Vodafone was picked as the best by 78% of its user base, 74% of Airtel users picked it and 72% of Jio users picked their provider.

AFFORDABILITY

Jio topped in affordability, followed by BSNL. The two operators have cheapest calling and data plans in India at present.

HOLDOUTS

Out of the 2,000-plus people surveyed, a little over half (56%) did not yet get a SIM card from the new telecom operator.

Out of this 56%, 60% did not move to Jio because they did not want to for various reasons such as fear that the new operator would raise prices later, competitive offers given by existing provider and so on.

The remaining 40% did not move to the new operator for various practical reasons, such as unavailability of 4G phones, lack of MNP option and so on.

45% of the non-users said they would consider using the new operator if its network improves.

SURVEY WARS

Recent surveys on telecom have ended up creating a lot of controversy because of attempts by telecom players to use third party data to show off their own ‘superiority’.

Speed test results from Ookla and TRAI have both been the subject of much jostling between Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, with the latter even going to court to challenge Ookla’s surveys.

Besides surveys by these traditional IT market research firms, many stock brokers have also come up with surveys comparing the performance of the new operator with that of the incumbents who are struggling to keep pace with its low-cost service model.

Velocity MR is a relatively new entrant in the consulting+market research business in India, and registered its website in January last year. On its website, the agency claims the support of Cross Marketing, a Tokyo-based market research firm.

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