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Survey Reveals Nearly Half of Smartphone Users Blame Mobile Providers for Service Issues
Posted: 09-Mar-2011 [Source: Empirix]

[In the U.S., 20 percent of smartphone users reported experiencing issues Often or Always when completing Internet searches on their smartphones. Germany shared this same percentage, while it rose to 30 percent in the UK.]

Bedford, MA -- Empirix Inc., a market leader of service quality assurance solutions for end-to-end comprehensive customer experience management of mobile broadband and IP-based communications systems, today announced the results of a consumer survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Empirix, to explore the frequency of service issues experienced by smartphone users when utilizing multimedia activities on their smartphones. Survey results revealed that a significant percentage of adults experience service issues on a regular basis when using their smartphone to conduct a myriad of activities, including Internet searches, downloading data and searching for or watching videos. More alarming, nearly half of those who experience problems directly blame their mobile service providers for these issues. Bob Hockman, director of product marketing for Empirix, discusses the survey results and implications for mobile providers in this video:

“The proliferation of mobile devices has created unparalleled use of new services and applications on smart devices, frequently causing a strain on service provider networks,” said Hockman. “When consumers feel this strain, the initial reaction is dissatisfaction, which quickly turns into blame towards someone or something else for the problems. Mobile providers often do not realize that consumers are judging them based not only on broader mobile application offerings, but more so on whether the application works as advertised, every time. Without consistent, high-quality connectivity, carriers make themselves susceptible to disenchanted customers and lost business.”

The survey was conducted online in February 2011 among 2,180 smartphone users who reported having experienced any problems doing any multimedia activity on their smartphones. In the U.S., 20 percent of smartphone users reported experiencing issues Often or Always when completing Internet searches on their smartphones. Germany shared this same percentage, while it rose to 30 percent in the UK.

Additional key findings include:

* Activities most frequently conducted on smartphones—Respondents use their smartphones most frequently to text, conduct Internet searches, download data and play games. * Percentage of respondents who experienced issues—Eighty six percent of smartphone users in the U.S. reported experiencing problems while using multimedia applications on their mobile phone. In the UK, 86 percent also reported experiencing issues, and in Germany, 77 percent reported experiencing issues.

* More than 75 percent of U.S. smartphone users who perform Internet searches, download data, use other applications, search for or watch videos, and make updates via social networking sites reported having issues.

* More than 60 percent of UK smartphone users overall reported having issues with Internet searches, texting and using other applications.

* More than 50 percent of German smartphone users overall reported having issues with Internet searches, using other applications and texting.

“To ensure the highest quality experience for customers, it is imperative for service providers to identify problems and find solutions before they reach the end-user,” said Hockman. “Customers no longer tolerate just ‘ok’ service; whether it’s the ability to quickly download a video or update their Facebook status, users expect the network to work well all the time. From pre-deployment testing to ongoing networking monitoring, end-to-end quality assurance is critical to enabling providers to get their network right and keep it right.”

To meet demand for testing and monitoring on today’s complex, converged communications networks, Empirix also announced today the introduction of its Unified Communications (UC) Assurance Platform. The industry’s first comprehensive UC testing and monitoring solution, UC Assurance is designed to help service providers and enterprises validate that their communications applications—including voice, video, social media, presence, contact and data—work properly and ensure that consumers and business users have a high-quality experience.

Survey Methodology

For the purpose of this survey, a smartphone was defined as a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities, such as Internet access and computer-like functionalities.

This study was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Empirix among a total of 4,779 adults aged 16-64 within Great Britain & Germany from February 2-9, 2011 (among which 1,901 adults currently own/use a smartphone mobile device) and among 2,060 adults aged 18 and older from February 2-4, 2011 (among which 732 adults currently own/use a smartphone mobile device) via its QuickQuery omnibus product in the United States. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population within each country. These data were also weighted to reflect the composition of the adult general population within each country.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100 percent response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For more information, please contact Nichole Berg at


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