05 January 2017 10:34:12 IST

Satisfaction of 4G users high, Jio to trigger more tariff cuts: Survey

High cost and slow speeds remain the biggest issues for incumbents

Even as satisfaction levels of the subscribers of 4G services in India have risen to 97 per cent in three months, more tariff cuts are on the anvil with retention level for Jio seen at a high 65 percent when its free offer draws to a close, says a survey.

Conducted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch on September 2016 and again three months later, the survey finds 96 per cent of the customers satisfied on voice quality and 66 percent on data speeds. But high cost and slow speeds remain the biggest issues for incumbents.

“Our survey indicates that Jio’s free service is gaining reasonable traction with 26 per cent using Jio as primary SIM and 21 per cent as secondary SIM. Some 55 per cent of the surveyed users find Jio speed higher than that of other telcos,” it says.

“Some 67 per cent said they will use Jio as secondary SIM/dongle and 18 per cent will use as primary one when Jio’s free offer ends. Amongst these, 57 per cent said that they will go for Jio’s ₹400-500 package, rather than the cheapest one.”

On the flip side, it says: “Voice calling is still an issue with only 22 per cent having no problems at all. Some 32 per cent users indicated that they use Jio as it is faster and 28 per cent as it is cheap.”

On tariffs and other issues, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has the following points to make:

- While customer satisfaction is high for incumbents, 28 per cent users still find their services expensive.

- In our view, only Bharti is trying to create a perception through marketing gimmicks/new packages that its tariffs are at par/cheaper than Jio.

- In our view, other telcos will follow-up leading to higher competitive intensity.

- We find Bharti Infratel well placed to benefit if telcos spend more on improving their coverage with most consumers using Jio as it is faster.

- We find smaller telcos like Reliance Comm the most vulnerable as majority of the users with them are secondary SIM consumers and may likely to shift to Jio as their secondary SIM.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said it commissioned Survey Monkey to conduct the online survey of 1,000-plus respondents across the country with 500-plus Jio users. The sample had a 47-53 female-male mix, with 78 per cent of the respondents below the age of 44.