MANILA, Philippines — Majority of Filipino Internet users in the country think the quality of service they get from providers leaves much to be desired, as revealed by data from a recent study by Ericsson’s ConsumerLab.
In the study conducted between 2010 and 2011, ConsumerLab found that 88 percent of those surveyed think quality of service is one of the key areas of improvement for Internet in the Philippines, followed by customer care (47 percent) and billing concerns (5 percent).
What’s revealing, however, was that a lot of Internet users in the quality are willing to shell out more money, if only they can be assured of better service quality.
“At least a third of the population are willing to pay for better quality,” said Vishnu Singh, head of ConumerLab for Ericsson Southeast Asia and Oceania. “So there’s actually an opportunity [for providers] by offering services based on a segmented approach.”
Singh said the requirements of Filipino consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, highlighting a clear demand for better quality experience when using the Internet.
To harness this demand, Singh said providers must have a “deeper understanding of their customers’ changing demands” and to deliver on the expectations of consumers.
“Customers will impulsively react to poor experience,” the ConsumerLab executive said, “so the key is to solve their problems and improve the experience at the various touch points that impact the customer journey.”
While not laid out in the study, it has been pointed out in previous reports that mobile Internet in the country is the one that immensely suffers in quality, thanks to factors such as signal strength, interferences, and location that tend to affect the quality of the connection.
The problem has become so dire that last year, the National Telecommunications Commission ordered telcos to publish the minimum speeds users can get with their mobile broadband services, and not just the maximum burst speed that can be obtained during usage.
Telcos, on the other hand, argued that a small minority of users is actually “abusing” their subscription, which tend to affect the overall network quality, leading to the introduction of industry practices such as data caps and fair usage policies.
One telco executive went as far as to declare that their firm’s unlimited data offerings would have to end eventually, citing smaller margins on unlimited data amid higher capital investments required to maintain the infrastructure. ()
Of the more than 23 million Internet users in the country, the ConsumerLab report said at least 6 million are mobile broadband users. Internet cafes continue to comprise the biggest share of the Philippine Internet pie, with 60 percent of users accessing the Web through such avenues.
Elie Hanna, president and country head of Ericsson Philippines, however said mobile broadband uptake in the country is still at its early stages.
“As smartphones and tablets become more affordable, and as more of them become more available to reach more of the population, then more people would access the Internet using mobile devices,” Hanna said.