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Nearly Half of Australians Have Switched Providers in Past 3 Years

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Nearly half (46%) of Australian mobile subscribers have switched mobile services providers in the past three years, according to a new study released by the analyst firm Telsyte.

The report said that the high levels of churn have been driven by customer dissatisfaction, but also a range of attractive deals available through MVNOs.

Nearly half of those that switched providers during the last 12 months have landed with MVNOs. This includes consumers who have switched from the carriers and between MNVOs. Telsyte believes this trend is set to continue as main MVNOs continue to build scale and awareness.

"Nearly 40 percent of mobile users are planning to or considering changing providers in the next 12 months, especially those who are already off fixed contracts," Telsyte Senior Mobility Analyst, Alvin Lee says.

Even with more choice of mobile service provider, Telsyte research has shown 15 percent of Australian mobile subscribers have experienced unexpectedly high mobile bills, or "bill shock", in the past 12 months. Telsyte findings show that people who have experienced bill shock are two and a half times more likely to change providers.

"Younger age groups and iPhone users are more likely to have experienced bill shock during 2013, mainly due to the excessive usage of local data, rather than international roaming charges," Lee says.

The propensity to switch is expected to create opportunities for all providers including Vodafone, which despite recent losses, is looking to attract customers to its new 4G network.

Quality still important for customer retention

Amaysim and Telstra were the top two rated services providers (respectively) according to Telsyte's customer rating survey covering eight key attributes, including network reliability, coverage, price, customer service, etc.

High-speed 4G/LTE continues to be a key differentiator for the carrier brands, with MVNOs having less access to wholesale 4G than older 3G/HSPA+ services. Telsyte expects 4G services to make up nearly 70 percent of all mobile services by 2017.

Telsyte predicts the main carriers to compete with 'family deals', bundling of services enabled via the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the arrival of new services and better user experience enabled by LTE-A and LTE-B (Broadcast) technologies.

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Tags: telsyte  Australia