Full Length Research Paper
Exploring influencing factors for the selection of mobile phone service providers: A structural equational modeling (SEM) approach on Malaysian consumers Sabbir Rahman1, Ahasanul Haque1* and Mohd Ismail Sayyed Ahmad2 1
Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, International Islamic University, Malaysia, Box No. 10, 50728 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2 Graduate School of Management, International Islamic University, Malaysia, Box No. 10, 50728 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Accepted 26 August, 2010
The aim of this paper is to assess the factors that have played significant role to select telecommunication service providers. A survey instruments were employed on Malaysian mobile phone operator’s consumers’ included by demographic background, price, service quality, service availability and promotion. Data were collected from the consumers’ of three mobile phone operator’s from major cities in Malaysia. To determine the factors and examining their relationship of those factors towards the consumer’s perception in selecting an operator’s services. This research has applied exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling for testing hypotheses. From the result it is revealed price or call rate is the most important factor followed by service quality, service availability and promotion. It is hoped that the findings of this study will assist the mobile phone industry of Malaysia in what they can produce in their services and how they want to promote their services as well. The findings of this study also assist mobile phone operator’s managers to invest their resources more efficiently, making changes to crucial quality attributes that elicit the consumer’s satisfaction level. However, the findings of this study may provide needed feedback and contribute to the improvement of players’ strategy and their marketing program. The study only included information of limited variables and from few cities in Malaysia with limited sample size. However, further research should be considered to gather more information regarding the brand image, corporate image, and customers’ satisfaction dimensions in context of the Malaysian mobile phone operators with larger sample. Key words: Mobile telecom service provider, consumer perception, price, service quality, promotion. INTRODUCTION In a competitive market, service providers are expected to compete on both price and quality of services and also it is necessary for the service providers to meet the consumers’ requirements and expectations in price and service quality (Melody, 2001). Telephone, for example, provides ubiquitous social interactions between and among individuals, groups, organizations, and the governments alike and that subsequently makes and operates a broadly networked international environment tying nations, cultures, casts, creeds, national identities and businesses. Worth noting is that the telecommunication industry in Malaysia has also been a fastest growing sector keeping appropriate pace with global advancements, especially the mobile telecom market. This development has become a catalyst for the growth of the nation’s commercial and industrial sectors. This telecommunication sector contributed much to the nation’s economic growth and development which is consistent with the National Vision 2020. The growth rate
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: +603-6196 4719, +6-0133548284.
Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
in the use of telecommunication facilities has increased dramatically, especially in the rank of increasing number of telephone subscribers. The number of telephones for every 100 persons increased from 6.5 in 1985 to 12 in 1993 (Government Report, 1995). The fixed line penetration ratio had...