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Tablets Generate Increased Data Quality Issues as Customer Expectations Rise

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The incidence of data quality problems has risen for the first time in more than four years as the growing number of tablets and mobile broadband devices generates different usage patterns and network quality expectations from smartphone and feature phone device owners, according to a J.D. Power survey.

Now in its 12th year, the semiannual study is based on 10 problem areas of the customer experience: dropped calls; calls not connected; audio issues; failed/late voicemails; lost calls; text transmission failures; late text message notifications; Web connection errors; slow downloads; and email connection errors.

Network performance issues are measured as problems per 100 (PP100) network connections, with a lower score reflecting fewer problems and better network performance. In addition to evaluating the network quality experienced by customers with wireless phones, the study now also measures the network performance of tablets and mobile broadband devices.

Verizon Wireless ranks highest in five regions; Northeast, Southeast, North Central, Southwest and West, with typically lower PP100 scores in call quality, messaging quality and data quality areas. AT&T ranks highest in the Mid-Atlantic region with lower PP100 scores in data quality issues.

"The ability to provide a high-quality experience with the network is largely dependent on how well carriers understand usage patterns and customer expectations of the network," said Kirk Parsons, senior director and practice leader of telecommunications at J.D. Power. "While customers may be leveraging the same network across a multitude of devices-including smartphones, tablets and mobile broadband devices-their experience can be different given the variety of locations in which they are used and the different activities performed on each."

According to Parsons, as usage of such devices as cellular tablets continues to grow, carriers that understand those dynamics will be better positioned to provide a more satisfying experience with the network, leading to higher levels of overall customer satisfaction, higher rates of retention, customer advocacy and return on investment.

The survey also found that cellular tablet owners are more willing to switch carriers if a competitor can offer faster, more reliable connections for a comparable price. In fact, while they are more satisfied overall, 29 percent of customers with cellular tablets say they "definitely will" or "probably will" switch their carrier within the next year, compared with just 15 percent of those without a cellular tablet. 

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Tags: tablets  USA