An Evaluation on Factors That Influence the Choice of a Mobile Telecommunications Service Provider

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TITLE:AN EVALUATION ON FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE CHOICE OF A MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE PROVIDER

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.Executive Summary3
2.Background4
2.1Purpose of study5
2.2Significance of study5
2.3Research Objectives5
2.4Research Questions6
3.Methodology7
3.1Method of Research7
3.2Types of Research7
3.3Population7
3.4Sampling7
4.Sources of data collection8
4.1Secondary Data8
4.2Primary Data8
5.Data collection tools8
5.1Questionnaire8
5.2Validity and Reliability9
6.Data Analysis10
7.Recommendations15
8.Limitations and Delimitations of the study16
9.Conclusion17
10.References18
11.Appendices19

1.0Executive Summary

The Zimbabwean telecommunication sector has grown rapidly over the past years. This exponential market growth attracted new players to this sector, which in turn resulted in increased competition. The aim of this study was to establish critical factors in the selection of mobile telecommunications service providers.

A research instrument was employed to collect data from consumers of the three mobile phone operators in Zimbabwe. Convenience sampling, a form of non-probability sampling was used to collect data from 40 participants. This research used descriptive statistics for data analysis and discussions. The results of the study revealed that customers’ selection of which mobile telecommunications service providers to use is influenced by overall service quality, free calls and free SMSs, network capability, reliability of service, network innovativeness, low rate charges, accessibility, promotions with discount, geographic network coverage, family and friends, and customer care. In addition to this, the study found that customers prefer subscribing to the same service provider as their family members and friends. However, visually appealing physical facilities and high profile customers, were found to be the least influential factors in selecting mobile telecommunication service provider. Marketing mix elements are relevant towards evaluating factors that determine the selection of mobile service provider in Zimbabwe.

However, this study incorporated and investigated further by including factors influencing consumer buying behaviour, which makes it more comprehensive for application in telecommunication services. Thus, the focus on consumer behaviour was helpful in situating and understanding customers' buying behaviour in mobile telecommunication services. The study recommended specific marketing strategies to enhance the success of mobile service providers in this competitive market and ensure quality service delivery to satisfy customers. This study had limitations in its research design, strategy and sampling method; hence, areas for future studies addressing these shortcomings have been identified and recommended.

2.0Background and objectives
The mobile telecommunication industry has grown over the past few decades and has seen the industry undergoing intense competition to attract and retain customers. The mobile industry has become an important factor in global interactions as computer-based technologies and communication networks are being implemented daily. In the last twenty years, the mobile revolution has truly changed the socio-economic landscape of Zimbabwe and has seen the industry grow rapidly, that is keeping pace with global advancements in the mobile telecommunication market.

The year 1997 marked a new era in the Zimbabwe telecommunication sector as it marked the beginning of deregulation of the telecommunications sector, which was previously a monopoly. The Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) which was wholly...
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