If you’ve ever cursed at your mobile operator for providing less-than-stellar service—or no service at all—wherever you happen to be at every instant of every day…you’re not alone. A new survey commissioned by Empirix (and conducted by Harris Interactive) finds that fully 86 percent of U.S. smartphone users experienced problems tapping into multimedia application on their mobile devices, with three quarters of U.S. smartphone owners report having connectivity problems while trying to perform other smartphone activities like Internet searches, downloading data, using apps or social networking services, or accessing media. Furthermore, 20 percent of U.S. and German smartphone users reported “always” or “often” having problems using data-related smartphone functions, with that percentage increasing to 30 percent in the United Kingdom.
And who gets the blame to these failures? More than half the respondents “directly blame” their mobile service operators for the problems.
“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 Empirix’s director of marketing Bob Hockman, in a statement.. “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 implication is that while mobile carriers are eager to transition users to smartphones with extensive data capabilities—and all the potential revenue streams those devices can provide—the bottom line is that the vast majority of smartphone users, at some level, experience frustration and failures—and that doesn’t create satisfied and loyal customers.
Empirix urges carriers to identify and solve service issues before they’re experienced by end users. “Customers no longer tolerate just ‘ok’ service,” Hockman continued. “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.”
The online survey was conducted in February 2011 and covered some 2,180 smartphone users who reported having problems with multimedia activity on their devices.