Consumers using wireless communications are more attracted to good coverage than to low prices, according to a new Gartner survey conducted at the firm's Chicago Wireless Conference in March 2002.
Respondents from 122 businesses were asked to rank their reasons for selecting wireless service providers, and their satisfaction levels with major wireless service providers.
The survey ranks the factors for selection of one wireless services above another, showing the percentage of respondents ranking each factor as 'most important'. Respondents were also permitted to choose more than one factor as being jointly important. The top motivation was complete regional or national coverage (73.5%), followed by service pricing (25.3%), international roaming and coverage (8.2%), wireless internet and data services (8.1%) and handset selection and price (2.0%). Other factors including business integration, billing, ability to combine multiple data or voice services, paging services and the corporate agreement, totalled 15.4%.
"Beyond anything else, geographic coverage remains the most important characteristic for mobile enterprise users," said Phillip Redman, Gartner mobile wireless research director. "No matter what the price, if you are out of coverage or get a fast-busy signal too often, you are paying too much."
The survey also asked business users to rank their satisfaction with their existing service providers. Network provider quality was ranked as either poor, below average, average, good or excellent. The top position is held by AT&T Wireless (57.1%), followed by Cingular (51.6%), Verizon (51.2%), Sprint PCS (50.1%), VoiceStream (42.9%), Nextel (40%) and 'Others' (25%).
"Plenty of opportunity exists for the right provider to gain that top spot," said Redman, adding that "enterprises are expecting more from their wireless carrier, and next-generation wireless data services will be another proving ground."