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Posts Tagged ‘AT&T’

AT&T 4G LTE network rated fastest by PCWorld/TechHive

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

At&tThe AT&T 4G LTE network has been ranked fastest for a second consecutive year by PCWorld/TechHive.

The tests in 20 U.S. markets including Ann Arbor, Mich. show AT&T wireless customers are benefiting from blazing-fast wireless Internet speeds.

AT&T has taken its share of criticism for various wireless connection issues over the years. Ours, however, has performed flawlessly. But then again, as a friend of mine who did have connection problems said, I seldom leave the Interstates.

The 2013 PCWorld/TechHive speed tests showed AT&T led all carriers tested in Ann Arbor, Mich. with an average upload speed of 6.7 mpbs and an average download speed of 15.2 mbps.

AT&T also outpaced the competition last year in PCWorld/TechHive’s 2012 wireless Internet speed tests, having delivered faster download speeds than any other national carrier in 13 cities tested.

Speed is the name of the game for mobile Internet service, as customers are taking advantage of smartphones and apps to help manage their busy lives. In this year’s PCWorld/TechHive report, AT&T led the speed tests with an average download speed of 13.15 mbps and an average upload speed of 6.45 mbps in the 20 U.S. markets tested.

“With consumer demand for wireless data continuing to grow rapidly, it’s more important than ever that U.S. wireless carriers not only keep pace with demand, but deliver network speeds fast enough to enable new mobile web experiences,” said Jason Snell , Editorial Director, PCWorld/TechHive.

AT&T launched 4G LTE** in Ann Arbor, Mich. in September of 2012, and it plans to expand its 4G LTE network to cover 300 million people nationwide by year-end 2014. Even as 4G LTE expands, customers can get 4G speeds outside of 4G LTE areas with our 4G HSPA+ technology.

The AT&T 4G LTE network has also been recognized for speed and performance by other third-party testing firms. AT&T 4G LTE is available in 228 markets and covers more than 200 million people. Improving the wireless network continues to be a priority for AT&T.

Here at the TechJournal, we’d be interested in hearing about your experiences with AT&T’s LTE service. Is it as fast as advertised?

Texting and driving: it can wait

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

carsNumerous studies have shown that texting while driving is more dangerous than drinking and driving, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping many people from doing it.

Nearly half of commuters self-reported texting while driving in a recent poll, and 43% of those who did called it a “habit.”

Commuters are texting and driving even more than teens – 49%, compared to 43%.  And the problem has gotten worse. Six in 10 commuters say they never texted while driving three years ago.

Awareness of dangers increasing

So while efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving are working – 98% of commuters surveyed said they know sending a text or email while driving isn’t safe – there’s clearly more work to be done to change behaviors.

Survey sponsor AT&T is calling on employers to help end texting while driving by taking action during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, and beyond.

It’s asking businesses to join the more than 165 organizations already engaged in theTexting & Driving-It Can Wait movement, and to use the policies, technologies and communications materials available free at att.com/itcanwait to help move their employees beyond being aware of the danger to making a personal commitment not to text and drive.

Businesses should encourage responsible behavior

texting bans

As of December 2011, these states passed laws limiting cell phone use while driving.

“Businesses can help keep their employees and others on the road safe by encouraging responsible behavior behind the wheel, including obeying all laws related to the use of electronic devices,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue .

“We also encourage all businesses to consider joining the ‘It Can Wait’ movement to end texting while driving.  Together we can help turn the tide on this serious issue.”

Through It Can Wait, AT&T has reached millions with the insight that most text messages are trivial, and no text is worth dying for.  It has made the dangers of texting and driving real and personal by giving thousands of people hands-on experience with driving simulators and sharing the heart-wrenching stories of people – like Jamie Nash in this video – whose lives have been forever changed by texting-while-driving accidents.

More than 1.3 million personal commitments never to text and drive have been made at ItCanWait.com, through Facebook, text-to-pledge, tweet-to-pledge or at events.

For more information, please visit www.ItCanWait.com.

Commuter survey conducted by ResearchNow on behalf of AT&T 

http://www.att.com/Common/about_us/pdf/twd_commutor_survey.pdf

Teen survey conducted by Beck Research on behalf of AT&Thttp://www.att.com/Common/about_us/txting_driving/att_teen_survey_executive.pdf

Do you get what you pay for buying broadband?

Monday, February 18th, 2013

mobile devicesYou’re probably getting at least very close to the broadband speeds your provider advertises, according to a study by the Federal Communications Commission. It found that ISPs are providing 97 percent of advertised speeds during peak hours.

That’s a slight improvement from previous FCC reports.

Cablevision, Comcast, Mediacom and Verizon’s fiber services all met or exceeded their advertised speeds in the FCC test.

Winstream was the worst performer studied, delivering only around 81 percent of advertised download speeds at peak hours.

T&T, Centurylink, Frontier, Insight, Qwest and Verizon DSL delivered better than 80 percent of their advertised speeds, the report says.

“Faster broadband has brought untold benefits to millions of Americans — from distance learning to distance healthcare,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. “This is good news for consumers and the economy, but we can’t be satisfied. To unleash innovation and realize broadband’s full potential, we must continue to see increases in broadband speed and capacity.”

 

T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile crush AT&T in social responsiveness

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

TmobileWhen it comes to social media responsiveness, telecom brands T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA crush AT&T, according to the latest “Socially Devoted” report from Socialbakers (Q42012).

This Prague-based social media analytics company calculates which brands around the world are most and least responsive each quarter. T-Mobile USA comes out first in the US followed by Virgin Mobile USA.

At the same time, AT&T clocks in third least responsive.

Also, surprisingly, two of the world’s most notable social brands aren’t that social at all: Netflix is THE least “Socially Devoted” brand of all US brands, with a 4.41% worldwide response rate.

StarbucksStarbucks, well known for its visibility on social media, is among the least socially devoted brands in the world with a 3.05% worldwide response rate.

Telecoms rank high globally

Separately, Socialbakers has found that telecom brands around the world — including Personal Argentina, Safaricom Kenya, Orange Polska, Telia, and Telenor Norge are also standouts when it comes to social media responsiveness. They all rank high on the Socialbakers scale when it comes to answering user questions on Facebook.

“Socially Devoted” brands, according to social media analytics company Socialbakers, are market leaders in their responsiveness.

Calculated based on how many questions are answered per quarter, the best brands answer at least 65% of all that they receive. Socialbakers developed the “Socially Devoted” designation in June 2012 as a benchmarking tool for brands in the U.S. and around the world. Beginning in 2013, Socialbakers will also measure interaction on Twitter.

Shift away from just counting fans

“In recent years there has been a shift away from brands simply seeking to collect the highest number of fans. What is important is how you interact and serve them. There is no point in having a page that offers no value to your fans beyond pushing photos of your products.

Your fans will most likely see your posts as spam, hide your feed and then your online marketing efforts are seen by no one. As we continue to measure social media responsiveness, the good news is that we are seeing brands recognize the potential impact of Facebook users and engagement on ROI and brand image,” says Jan Rezab , CEO of Socialbakers.

AT&T investing $14B to expand and enhance its networks

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

At&t

Here’s some good news for AT&T customers – especially those using its mobile service.

AT&T plans to invest $14 billion over the next three years to significantly expand and enhance its wireless and wireline IP broadband networks to support growing customer demand for high-speed Internet access and new mobile, app and cloud services.

The investment plan – Project Velocity IP (VIP) – expands AT&T’s high-potential growth platforms, helping drive continued increases in revenues from existing and new products and services, and earnings per share.

A major commitment

“This is a major commitment to invest in 21st Century communications infrastructure for the United States and bring high-speed Internet connectivity — 4G LTE mobile and wireline IP broadband — to millions more Americans,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer.

“We have the opportunity to improve AT&T’s revenue growth and cost structure for years to come, and create substantial value for shareowners.

“Revenues in our key growth areas — wireless data, U-verse and strategic business services — are all growing at a strong double-digit rate. Project VIP expands our potential in these key platforms and makes them available to many more customers,” Stephenson said.

“With our strong balance sheet, these capital investments are manageable. We are very confident in our ability to execute this plan. These are things we’ve done before – logical extensions of proven technologies and already successful businesses.

AT&T’s Project VIP consists of several individual initiatives, which are outlined below.

Investing in Mobile Internet Growth

  • 4G LTE Expansion. AT&T plans to expand its 4G LTE network to cover 300 million people in the United States by year-end 2014, up from its current plans to deploy 4G LTE to about 250 million people by year-end 2013. In AT&T’s 22-state wireline service area, the company expects its 4G LTE network will cover 99 percent of all customer locations.
  • Spectrum. AT&T has acquired spectrum through more than 40 spectrum deals this year (some pending regulatory review) and has plans to buy additional wireless spectrum to support its 4G LTE network. Much of the additional spectrum came from an innovative solution in which AT&T gained FCC approval to use WCS spectrum for mobile broadband. Between what the company already owns and transactions pending regulatory approval, AT&T expects to have about 118Mhz of spectrum nationwide. The company will continue to advocate with the FCC for release of additional spectrum for the industry’s long-term needs.
  • Densification & Small Cell Technology. As part of Project VIP, AT&T expects to deploy small cell technology, macro cells and additional distributed antenna systems to increase the density of its wireless network, which is expected to further improve network quality and increase spectrum efficiency.

 

Mobile device more important than carrier to IT service pros

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

At&tMobile phone satisfaction among IT service professionals is heavily driven by the device itself – far more than the wireless provider. At least that’s what OnForceuncovered in its recent survey of nearly 900 IT service professionals.

The study, conducted just last month, found that when it comes to overall satisfaction, AT&T and Verizon are in a dead heat, with Sprint a distant third.

In fact, only 55 percent of Sprint customers surveyed are ‘very satisfied’ overall with their mobile experience, compared to 67 percent of AT&T customers and 66 percent of Verizon customers.

Blend of experiences adds to overall satisfaction

However, a customer’s overall satisfaction comes from a blend of experiences, and deeper analysis uncovered some dramatic differences in satisfaction levels – especially when asked about the service a carrier provides.

While AT&T appears to have a slight advantage in overall satisfaction, AT&T customers are not happy with the service itself. Only 35 percent of AT&T customers reported being ‘very satisfied’ with the service compared to 58 percent for Verizon, 41 percent for T-Mobile and 35 percent for Sprint.

So why are AT&T customers the most satisfied overall, but disappointed in the carrier’s service?  It comes down to the battle between iPhone and Android.

iPhone customers more satisfied with 10 of 11 features

iPhone customers, regardless of carrier, were substantially more satisfied in 10 of 11 functionality categories we surveyed. The only area where Android users expressed more satisfaction than iPhone users was on maps and directions – functionality Apple is improving in iOS 6.

Even more telling are the Net Promoter scores OnForce’s survey uncovered, where iOS came in at 69, well ahead of Android at just 27.

“The Net Promoter results are surprising,” said Peter Cannone, CEO of OnForce. “IT field techs tend to be on the leading edge and often prefer open systems like Linux and Android. However, based on our findings, significantly more technicians are likely to recommend iOS to a friend or colleague than Android.”

From this data, it seems reasonable to conclude that AT&T’s early exclusive deal with Apple has had a very positive impact on overall satisfaction ratings, helping to mask AT&T’s weakness in carrier satisfaction. Fully 67 percent of AT&T customers use the iPhone, compared to only 33 percent of Verizon customers.

“Apple’s strength in the mobile market for the IT service community is clearly driven by the experience the iPhone delivers,” said Cannone. “Since AT&T no longer has iPhone exclusivity, the carrier risks losing market share.”

In fact, based on those surveyed, once existing contracts expire, AT&T is likely to lose approximately 10 percent of iPhone users to competitors like Verizon and Sprint.

Apple Leads, But Samsung’s Gaining Momentum
Apple continues to be the most popular mobile device manufacturer for IT service professionals, owning approximately 35 percent of the market, but Samsung (currently at 20 percent) is building momentum.

According to the study, both Apple and Samsung can expect to see a slight increase in market share, rising to 38 and 23 percent, respectively. That said, the recent patent infringement ruling against Samsung could have a significant impact on the company’s growth and adoption.

It’s interesting to note that current Samsung customers had the second lowest overall satisfaction with their mobile phone (BlackBerry was lowest) with only about half of current Samsung users ‘very satisfied.’

In part, Samsung’s growing popularity seems to be due to the sheer number of options Samsung provides. Among survey respondents who listed an exact phone model, there were 32 distinct Samsung phones – far more than any other manufacturer.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in Android usage amongst our community over the past year, but that could change quickly with new hardware and software developments on the horizon for Apple, and the majority of IT service technicians indicating that their next mobile device will be an Apple device,” added Cannone.

 

US carriers to invest $10.5B chasing 4G dream in 2013

Monday, July 30th, 2012

ABI ResearchA US election year combined with uncertain European financial fundamentals has clouded the economic outlook for the North American market. However, mobile operators are busily preparing their networks for next generation 4G services.

“North American mobile cellular capital expenditure is expected to hold its ground in 2012 year-on-year, with expenditure of around US$ 10 billion”, said Jake Saunders, VP for forecasting at ABI Research.

“In 2013, mobile capital expenditure is likely to surge 4.9% to US$10.5 Billion as North American operators continue upgrading their networks”.

Signs of these spending plans include:

  • In 2Q-2012, Verizon Wireless announced it had discontinued investment in the expansion and capacity enhancement of its 3G network as the operator has allocated those resources to building out its 4G LTE coverage. On a year-on-year basis, capital expenditure should trend flat or slightly down. The operator is confident its 4G footprint will at least be equal to its 3G footprint by mid-2013.
  • T-Mobile USA announced that it will invest US$4 billion in 2012 and 2013 to strengthen its 4G network, including the planned launch of LTE in 2013. Expenditures in 1Q-2012 were essentially neutral in 1Q-2012 due in part to these network modernization efforts.
  • AT&T is still spending substantially on wireline upgrades, but in 1Q-2012, wireless telecoms took 54% of its total CAPEX, up by US$ 454 million YoY to US$2.3 billion.
  • Sprint’s wireless upgrades to support LTE are helping to drive up its capital expenditure commitments to US$ 710 million in 1Q-2012, up 58% YoY.
  • Some of the renewed commitment by the incumbents could be partially explained by Clearwire’s activities. Clearwire had started off as a WiMAX 4G operator but has seized the LTE-TDD opportunity to introduce mobile broadband services. The first phase of LTE overlay network build-up saw the installation of 8,000 sites in “hot zones” in urban centers as part of the company’s strategy to provide capacity offload services to other operators. Clearwire expects CAPEX in 2012 will amount to US$350 to 400 million.

ABI Research’s study, “Mobile Capital Expenditure Forecast: North America,” focuses on the North-American region and includes base station and core network data. These findings are part of ABI Research’s Mobile Capex (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Mobile_Capex) Research Service which includes additional Competitive Analyses, Vendor Matrices, Market Data, and Insights.

Would you want your cell phone number listed in a directory?

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Attempts to create a cell phone number directory thus far have failed, but Verizon Wireless is trying to gauge support for it via a new website.

CellPhoneNumber.com, a website where cellular customers ask questions and receive answers about their wireless phones, has now received more than 8,000 responses to its poll asking “Should there be a cell phone directory?”

Votes were limited to one per person. Of those responses, an overwhelming majority, 91%, are in favor of a directory.

Attempts at such a directory have been made, but after coming under heavy criticism by privacy advocates, each such attempt has ceased.

  • In 2004, US wireless carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and others announced their intent to create a cellular directory. In 2005, the companies decided to pull back from this endeavor.
  • In 2007, Intelius, an information commerce company, launched their own for-profit cell phone directory. Months after its launch the company closed the directory stating it was “listening to its customers.”
  • Most recently, in 2010, Phonebooks.com, an Internet telephone directory and the company responsible for the CellPhoneNumber.com website, launched its own nationwide cellular directory. Phonebooks.com, in a joint effort with Verizon Wireless, suspended offering information on cell phone numbers last July. Following this suspension, the company launched the CellPhoneNumber.com website and this poll to gauge consumer interest in a cellular directory.

Last year the Washington Post cited a study that showed there are now more wireless devices being used in the United Statesthan people.

“With the growing number of households using cell phones only, a cellular directory seems inevitable,” said Aaron Rosenthal, president of Phonebooks.com.

For an example of how deeply cell phones have penetrated our society, including the scientific community, in September 2009, The American Public Health Association published a report in The Nation’s Health titled “Cell phone popularity a barrier for public health data collection: More Americans forgoing phone landlines.”

This article discusses how scientific studies, and even genetic research, which have depended on telephone data collection, will have their samples limited unless consumers become better educated and decide to opt into directories that accumulate cell phone numbers.

The goal of the CellPhoneNumber.com website is to better educate consumers on this and other topics relating to their cell phones. For more information on this website or the poll, visit: http://www.CellPhoneNumber.com.

Would you want your number listed in a cell phone directory? Sounds like a good way to start getting tons of junk calls to us. Personally, if we want someone to have our cell number, we give it them.

The VoIP revolution goes mobile (infographic)

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

VopiumChances are good you’re talking on a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone these days. But it was only a decade ago we were all still paying those high long distance bills and trying to figure out all the extra charges that came with them.

The folks over at Vopium, a global provider of VoIP services created this elegant infographic to look at the history and future of the industry. The data has been taken from statistics provided by the International Telecommunications Union 2011 database, as well as leading research analysis firms.

Global VoIP Revolution: An Infographic
Source: Global VoIP Revolution [Infographic]

Apple’s iPhone leads mobile video messaging use, Samsung gaining

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

iPhone 4SThe Apple iPhone continues to lead mobile video messaging usage, increasing from 7.4 percent to 23.6 percent since August 2011, however the use of Samsung devices is quickly gaining ground, increasing from 2.9 percent to 21.9 percent over the same period.

These numbers are according to the semiannual 2012 Mobile Marketing Analytics Report released by Mogreet, a multimedia-based mobile marketing provider.

“As the installed base of smartphones surpasses 50 percent in the United States, MMS provides a unique opportunity for marketers to reach all of their consumers with high-quality, engaging mobile video”

Currently, over two-thirds of all multimedia messaging delivered by businesses to consumers in the United States is done via the Mogreet platform.

This saturation of the mobile market provides the company deep insights into what messaging consumers view on their phones, giving unique types of useful knowledge for mobile marketers looking to improve and strengthen their messages, according to carrier, handset type and geography.

In addition, the semiannual report includes the following key statistics:

Percent of mobile multimedia messaging (MMS) delivered by mobile carrier:

  • Verizon Wireless – 45.4 percent
  • AT&T – 42.9 percent
  • Sprint – 8.2 percent
  • Cricket (Leap Wireless) – 2.4 percent
  • T-Mobile – 0.7 percent

Percent of MMS delivered by handset type:

  • Apple iPhone – 23.6 percent
  • Samsung – 21.9 percent
  • LG – 17.8 percent
  • Blackberry – 5.1 percent
  • Motorola – 5 percent

Top 5 U.S. regions using MMS:

  • Atlanta
  • South Carolina
  • Phoenix
  • Texas – Houston
  • Las Vegas Area

“As the installed base of smartphones surpasses 50 percent in the United States, MMS provides a unique opportunity for marketers to reach all of their consumers with high-quality, engaging mobile video,” said James Citron, CEO of Mogreet.

The expanded report is available for download at http://blog.mogreet.com

Top brands thrive by leveraging technology: Apple, IBM lead

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

AppleThe world’s biggest brands have continued to grow in value during the current economic uncertainty, often by leveraging technology, according to WPP company Millward Brown’s annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study.

One surprising finding: Samsung is nipping at Apple’s heels in certain markets.

The No. 1 brand for the second year, Apple, rose 19% in value and is now worth $182.9 billion.

IBM grew 15% in value to $115.9 billion and overtook Google, which dropped to third place in the ranking and is now worth $107.8 billion.

In advance of its IPO, eight year old Facebook rose 74% in value, making it the fastest brand value riser in the ranking. Worth $33.2 billion the social network moved up to No.19 from No.35.

The study, commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor and now in its seventh year, identifies and ranks the world’s most valuable brands by their dollar value, an analysis based on financial data, market intelligence and consumer measures of brand equity.

The 2012 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking demonstrates the power of strong brands as both a driver of new business growth and a critical support in hard times.

Between 2006 and 2012, the total value of the BrandZ Top 100 rose 66% and is now worth $2.4 trillion.

“Brands are an insurance policy for businesses,” said Eileen Campbell, Global CEO of brand research company Millward Brown.

“Despite a prolonged period of economic stress, political uncertainty and natural disasters that buffeted brands across many categories, the value of the world’s leading brands keeps rising across many categories, sustaining and nurturing businesses.”

The Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2012

                                                                        Brand
        Rank   Rank  Rank                                               Value
        2011 change  2012           Category              Brand       2012 ($M)
           1      0     1     Tech                   Apple             182,951
           3      1     2     Tech                   IBM               115,985
           2     -1     3     Tech                   Google            107,857
           4      0     4     Fast Food              McDonald's         95,188
           5      0     5     Tech                   Microsoft          76,651
           6      0     6     Soft drinks            Coca-Cola          74,286
           8      1     7     Tobacco                Marlboro           73,612
           7     -1     8     Communication Provider AT&T               68,870
          13      4     9     Communication Provider Verizon            49,151
           9     -1    10     Communication Provider China Mobile       47,041

David Roth for WPP said “This year, those businesses that leveraged technology, focused on the customer experience or boosted control of their brands thrived”.

Apple continues to innovate and maintain its ‘luxury’ brand status, but faces future competition from Samsung.

Now worth more than $14.1 billion, thanks in part to the success of its Galaxy handsets, Samsung is successfully outpacing Apple in a significant number of markets by positioning as a cool, well-priced alternative to the ubiquitous iPhone.”

Key findings highlighted in this year’s research report include:

  • Technology Prevails: Technology has become ubiquitous in all areas of our lives. Seven of the top 10 brands are technology or telecoms brands. However, the power of smart, simple-to-use technology can also be seen beyond these two sectors. In other categories – cars, financial services, luxury and retail for example – we can also see that brands are gaining significant advantages by using smart technology to enhance their customer experience. For example, Burberry – up 21% to $4 billion - created a virtual world where younger brand followers can view fashion shows and more.
  • The Rise of Africa:  This year’s ranking highlights the progress of Africa’s economic development with the arrival of the first African brand in the Top 100 – South African mobile company MTN – No 88 at $9.2 billion. But it’s not just African brands that are thriving south of the Sahara. Around 40% of Guinness’s sales come from Africa, Airtel’s third quarter results showed a 16% increase in revenue in Africa. Similarly, Orange enjoyed rapid growth in Africa in 2011, while Walmart invested there with the acquisition of Massmart.
  • The Future is Mobile: The future of the internet will be predominantly mobile rather than computer based. Mobile, to some extent, has been shielded from the recession as one of the few items consumers don’t want to give up or cut back on. The most valuable telecoms brand is AT&T worth $68.8 billion. Whilst the USA’s largest mobile service provider, Verizon, increased its brand value by 15% in the last year and is now worth $49.1 billion.
  • Retail: Constructing an Omni-Channel Business: The customer experience is a new focus for many retailers as they recognise its importance in keeping customers loyal and the need to be present anywhere and everywhere on the path to purchase. Walmart knocked Amazon from the top position and its brand is now worth $34.4 billion whilst Amazon is now worth$34 billion.
  • Brands with Women on the Board Outperform: As the number of women on corporate boards continues to rise,the BrandZ Top100 study this year reveals the success that women bring to brands. 77% of the brands appearing in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands have women in the boardroom. The average value of brands with women on the boards is $27 billion, double that of those companies without female directors. Not only that, these brands also show an average five-year growth of 66% compared to an average growth of only 6% for those BrandZ Top100 brands that don’t have a woman on the board.
  • Strong Brands Provide Better Shareholder Value: An analysis of BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands as a ‘stock portfolio’ over the last seven years shows a highly favourable performance compared to a current stock market index, the S&P500. While the total return on investment (ROI) for all companies in the S&P500 index was just 2.3%, the BrandZ Portfolio provided a 36.3% ROI, proving that companies with strong brands are able to deliver better value to their shareholders.
  • A graphic is available here.

Business use of hosted & cloud services grows, price a major factor

Friday, May 18th, 2012

JD PowerAmong business data customers, 18 percent are leveraging remote offerings, such as hosted and cloud-based services, up from 12 percent in 2011, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Business Data Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.

The report says price is a major factor in the data service provider selected, as it is in just about everything.

Nearly forty percent (38%) of business customers that utilize cloud-based or hosted services cite “lower price” as the main reason for choosing their data service provider. Conversely, only 20 percent of business that do not use cloud-based or hosted services cited price as their main reason for selecting their data provider.

The study also finds that cloud-based services are more popular among larger companies. Twenty percent of large enterprise businesses and 14 percent of small/medium sized businesses use a cloud service, while only 5 percent of very small businesses leverage cloud services.

Cable Providers Surpass Telecommunication Providers in Satisfaction
Across all business segments as a group, cable providers rank higher in overall satisfaction than traditional telecommunications–or telco–providers. Cable providers hold significantly higher satisfaction scores in fairness of contract terms and ease of understanding pricing options.

“For many years, telco providers have ranked higher in customer satisfaction than cable providers, primarily due to performance and reliability,” said Perazzini.

“Cable providers now rank higher in performance and reliability, due to their advantage in the area of data transfer speeds. Additionally, they have closed the gap with their telco counterparts regarding the stability of their data connections.”

The Value of Customer Service and a Single Point of Contact
Business customers frequently cite customer service as a main reason for choosing their provider, as 26 percent of large enterprises and 17 percent of small/medium businesses chose their data provider because of its reputation for providing good customer service. Additionally, the study finds that providing a single point of contact (SPOC) increases customer service satisfaction. Across all segments, overall satisfaction is 68 index points (on a 1,000-point scale) higher among businesses with a SPOC than among those without.

Additionally, the study finds that providing business customers with a SPOC may reduce customer churn and build loyalty. Across all segments, only 16 percent of businesses with a SPOC indicate they are likely to switch providers in the next 12 months, compared with 20 percent of those without a SPOC.

Business Data Satisfaction Rankings
The study measures customer satisfaction with providers of telecommunications data services, such as cable modem, DSL, T1, T3/DS3, Ethernet and frame relay. Providers are ranked in three segments: very small businesses (companies with one to 19 employees); small/medium businesses (companies with 20 to 499 employees); and large enterprises (companies with 500 or more employees).

Six factors are used to measure satisfaction across all three segments: performance and reliability; cost of service; sales representatives and account executives; billing; offerings and promotions; and customer service.

Optimum Business ranks highest in the very small business segment with an index score of 670. Optimum Business performs particularly well in cost of service and offerings and promotions. Cox (659) and Verizon (635) follow in the segment rankings.

Cox ranks highest in SMB segment

Cox ranks highest in the small and medium business segment with a score of 699, and performs particularly well in four of the six factors driving satisfaction: performance and reliability; cost of service; sales representatives and account executives and billing.

Optimum Business (679) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) (668) follow in the segment rankings.

In the large enterprise segment, AT&T ranks highest in overall satisfaction with a score of 686, and performs particularly well in four of six factors: performance and reliability; sales representatives and account executives; cost of service; and offerings and promotions.

The 2012 Business Data Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 5,143 business customers of telecommunication data services at very small, small/medium and large enterprise businesses in the United States and includes evaluations of their data service providers. The study was fielded in October 2011 and February 2012.

Overall Business Data Index Rankings J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings
Very Small Business Segment For Consumers
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Optimum Business 670 5
Cox 659 4
Verizon 635 4
Charter 623 4
VSB Average 613 3
AT&T 606 3
TWC 604 3
Comcast 603 3
CenturyLink 602 3
Frontier 571 2
Overall Business Data Index Rankings J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings
Small/Medium Business Segment For Consumers
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Cox 699 5
Optimum Business 679 4
TWC 668 4
Comcast 652 4
Verizon 648 4
CenturyLink 642 3
SMB Average 639 3
Charter 638 3
AT&T 611 2
Overall Business Data Index Rankings J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings
Large Enterprise Segment For Consumers
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
AT&T 686 5
LE Average 679 3
Comcast 677 3
TWC 676 3
Verizon 672 3
CenturyLink 639 2

 

Power Circle Ratings Legend:
5 – Among the best
4 – Better than most
3 – About average
2 – The rest

Source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1cb34)

Kindle Fire leads Android tablet market, but larger screens get more use

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Amazon Kindle Fire Doubles its Share of Android Tablet Market in Two Months

Kindle Fire

A Kindle Fire tablet computer

The Kindle Fire, introduced to the market in November 2011, has seen rapid adoption among buyers of tablets, far ahead of the others, but larger tabs see almost 40 percent more use, according to comScore’s Digital Essentails report.

Within the Android tablet market, Kindle Fire has almost doubled its share in the past two months from 29.4 percent share in December 2011 to 54.4 percent share in February 2012, already establishing itself as the leading Android tablet by a wide margin.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab family followed with a market share of 15.4 percent in February, followed by the Motorola Xoom with 7.0 percent share. The Asus Transformer and Toshiba AT100 rounded out the top five with 6.3 percent and 5.7 percent market share, respectively.

We’ve tried both the larger 10 inch tablets and the Kindle Fire and prefer the smaller screen for most things we use a tablet to do.  Here’s our intial review: http://www.techjournal.org/2011/11/kindle-fire-a-good-value-for-the-money/. We like it even more now that we’ve used it for several months. Other people who try ours also seem to like it.

U.S. Market Share of Android Tablets by Unique Devices
Dec-2011, Jan-2012, Feb-2012
Total U.S.
Source: comScore Device Essentials*
% Share of Android Tablets
Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12
Amazon Kindle Fire 29.4% 41.8% 54.4%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Family 23.8% 19.1% 15.4%
Motorola Xoom 11.8% 9.0% 7.0%
Asus Transformer 6.4% 6.2% 6.3%
Toshiba AT100 7.1% 7.0% 5.7%
Acer Picasso 6.0% 5.2% 4.3%
Acer Iconia 2.8% 2.6% 2.1%
Dell Streak 2.2% 1.7% 1.3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 0.7% 0.9% 1.2%
Sony Tablet S 0.9% 0.8% 0.7%
Other 8.9% 5.6% 1.6%

*comScore Device Essentials measures unique devices accessing the web during the time period noted, including home, enterprise and secondary devices across all age groups.

Larger Screen Tablets See Higher Level of Content Consumption

Tablet adoption among U.S. consumers continues to climb as more devices appealing to various price and feature preferences are introduced to the market. Screen size is perhaps the most outwardly apparent differentiator between devices, with the market offering consumers a wide variety of options such as the 10″ Apple iPad, 9″ Sony S1, 7″ Amazon Kindle Fire and 5″ Dell Streak.

Analysis of page view consumption by screen size found a strong positive association between screen size and content consumption. Specifically, 10″ tablets have a 39-percent higher consumption rate than 7″ tablets and a 58-percent higher rate than 5″ tablets.

Average Browser Page Views per Tablet
Feb-2012
Total U.S.
Source: comScore Device Essentials*
Tablet Screen Size Browser Page Views

per Tablet

10 inch 125
9 inch 116
7 inch 90
5 inch 79

*comScore Device Essentials measures unique devices accessing the web during the time period noted, including home, enterprise and secondary devices across all age groups.

Although many factors – such as demographics, content availability, connection speed and ease of portability – may influence consumption levels, the results of this analysis highlight important questions for the industry as the tablet space develops.

With the emergence of a growing number of smaller-sized tablet devices, advertisers and publishers will need to understand whether these devices limit the opportunity for advertising compared to their larger-screen counterparts, or if they are able to build incremental reach and engagement by presenting different use cases.

Smartphone Carrier Market Share Shows Variation Across Key States

Among the new capabilities introduced in Device Essentials is the ability to segment data into custom geographies to provide more granular insights into local market device usage. comScore analyzed the share of unique smartphone devices among the top four carriers in the most populous U.S. states and found significant variation between markets.

Looking exclusively at the top four carriers, AT&T accounted for the largest share of unique smartphones in Texas (46.2 percent), California (42.9 percent) and Illinois (42.1 percent), while Verizon claimed the top spot in New York (43.6 percent) and Florida (36.5 percent). The greatest disparity in carrier share between AT&T and Verizon occurred in Texas, where AT&T’s smartphone share was more than double that of Verizon’s share.

Sprint PCS ranked as the third largest smartphone carrier in each of the top five markets, with the carrier owning its highest market share in Illinois at 22.8 percent. T-Mobile USA captured its highest market share in Texas, where the carrier accounted for 11.9 percent of smartphone devices.

U.S. Market Share of Unique Smartphone Devices Among AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile by Top 5 States
February 2012
Total U.S.
Source: comScore Device Essentials*
% Share of Unique Smartphone Devices by Market
AT&T Verizon Sprint PCS T-Mobile USA
California 42.9% 29.2% 17.4% 10.5%
Florida 31.7% 36.5% 20.7% 11.2%
Illinois 42.1% 25.3% 22.8% 9.8%
New York 28.4% 43.6% 21.2% 6.8%
Texas 46.2% 22.3% 19.5% 11.9%

*comScore Device Essentials measures unique devices accessing the web during the time period noted, including home, enterprise and secondary devices across all age groups.

Which wireless carriers have the fastest 3G-4G service?

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

At&tWhich 3G and 4G wireless services are fastest in your city and overall? PCWorld found out.

Mobile internet service is a major monthly expense for most American consumers, and a very big business for U.S. wireless companies.

The marketing machines of those companies are now in high gear, touting their services as the industry transitions from 3G service to the much faster 4G. Problem is, everybody’s service is “4G”, “most reliable”, “biggest”, “fastest” and “best,” if you believe all the names and claims flying about on TV, radio, print media and the Web.

“The big surprise in this year’s study is T-Mobile’s performance”

That’s why PCWorld has once again hit the road to measure the real-world performance of the four major wireless services on America’s streets and in its coffee shops. During February and March of this year, PCWorld measured the speeds of the major U.S. carriers’ 3G and 4G wireless services from 130 locations in 13 major U.S. cities.

wireless chart

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STUDY

  • AT&T had the fastest download speeds of any 4G service, along with an HSPA+ service that’s very competitive with 3G services–a compelling service combination for AT&T dual-mode phones.
  • T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 21 service proved faster overall than comparable 3G services in our study, and the carrier’s high-end HSPA+ 42 service held its own with the 4G services of its larger competitors. Those services, and the array of flexible and affordable plans it offers, make T-Mobile a good choice for many wireless users.
  • Verizon has 4G service in many more locations than other providers, but in most localities the download speed of its 4G service doesn’t match AT&T’s (though its upload speeds are faster, more often than not). And Verizon’s 3G speeds have not improved much, especially when compared to the competition.
  • Sprint is a consistent laggard in the wireless speed races. The company appears to have virtually stopped developing its network while looking for a way to transition from its outdated WiMAX 4G technology to LTE.

“The big surprise in this year’s study is T-Mobile’s performance,” says PCWorld Senior Editor Mark Sullivan, who designed and managed the study.

“By offering data speeds that are very competitive with AT&T and Verizon along with its affordable data plans, T-Mobile is proving why its proposed acquisition by AT&T last year would have been bad news for US consumers.”

“The other (rather sobering) surprise in this year’s data is Sprint’s poor performance, both in 3G and 4G service. The carrier’s speeds suggest that both the Sprint CDMA and WiMAX networks have seen very little investment and upgrade over the past year—in a mobile data market where the rule is ‘grow faster or perish.’”

“While a majority of wireless consumers still use slower 3G devices today, most will transition to faster 4G devices over the next five years as carriers push them to upgrade to newer 4G devices when their contracts expire,” Sullivan says. Meanwhile wireless companies will continue to increase their networks’ data transfer speeds to compete for new customers and retain old ones.

FASTEST 3G AND 4G SERVICES BY CITY:

Atlanta – 3G: T-Mobile; 4G: AT&T
Boston – 3G: T-Mobile; 4G: AT&T
Chicago – 3G: AT&T 4G: AT&T
Dallas – 3G: AT&T 4G: AT&T
Denver – 3G: T-Mobile; 4G: Verizon
Los Angeles – 3G: T-Mobile; 4G: AT&T
Las Vegas – 3G: T-Mobile; 4G: AT&T
New Orleans – 3G: T-Mobile; 4G: Verizon
New York – 3G: T-Mobile; 4G: AT&T
San Jose – 3G: T-Mobile; 4G: Verizon
San Francisco – 3G: T-Mobile; 4G: AT&T
Seattle – 3G: T-Mobile; 4G: Verizon
Washington DC – 3G: T-Mobile; 4G: AT&T

“Our annual speed study is an important part of what we do at PCWorld,” explains VP, Editorial Director, Steve Fox. “Many consumers look to us for an unbiased, independent, empirical assessment of the wireless technology and services being offered in the U.S. today.”

“It’s exciting to see the data speed wars heating up as the wireless providers move from 3G to 4G technology in their networks and devices,” Fox says. “We only hope that the competition eventually translates into better performance and better value for consumers.”

Read the complete article with detailed results and data at: http://pcwrld.us/HILktj

Widespread adoption of mobile payment systems expected by 2020

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Imagining the InternetWithin the next decade, smart-device swiping will have gained mainstream acceptance as a method of payment and could largely replace cash and credit cards for most online and in-store purchases by smartphone and tablet owners, according to a new survey of technology experts and stakeholders.

Many of the people surveyed by Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center and the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project said that the security, convenience and other benefits of “mobile wallet” systems will lead to widespread adoption of these technologies for everyday purchases by 2020.

Others—including some who are generally positive about the future of mobile payments—expect this process to unfold relatively slowly due to a combination of privacy fears, a desire for anonymous payments, demographic inertia, a lack of infrastructure to support widespread adoption, and resistance from those with a financial stake in the existing payment structure.

Here at the TechJournal, we recently interviewed an e-commerce expert for a top firm and he said once mobile payments are the norm, digital commerce will explode. So this is probably the next crucial step in the increasingly important world of e-commerce and mobile commerce.

As always with these Pew reports, the full text is worth reading. Here are a few excerpts:

A number of financial services and technology firms have set their sights on integrating mobile devices into the broader, multi-trillion-dollar retail economy. As a result, the infrastructure and tools for safe, reliable mobile purchasing has been advancing rapidly in recent years.

These mobile payment and transaction solutions currently take a number of forms. Some allow merchants and businesses to accept “on the go” credit card payments from customers using a special card reader that plugs into a smartphone or tablet computer.

Others facilitate direct person-to-person financial transfers using mobile devices—either by physically touching phones or exchanging electronic credentials such as a phone number or email address.

Google Wallet

Other solutions go even further, placing mobile phones at the center of users’ financial lives as an all-in-one payment device, identification system, coupon book and financial planner. In late 2011, Google launched Google Wallet in partnership with Citibank and MasterCard. Based on a technology known as near-field communication (NFC), Google Wallet allows users to store payment information in the cloud and pay for goods at participating retailers by tapping their phone at the point of purchase.

Another consortium (including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Visa, American Express, Discover and MasterCard) will be piloting a similar NFC-based mobile payment system known as ISIS starting in select cities in mid-2012. PayPal and Visa have also announced plans for mobile wallet systems, and many analysts predict that Apple will announce its own virtual wallet service in the near future.

Which brand of phones has significantly higher Wifi use?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

iPhone 4A significantly higher percentage of iPhones than Android phones connecting to the Internet via Wi-Fi networks, according to digital measurement firm comScore.

“With the rise in adoption of smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices, network operators have seen a surge in mobile web activity and face new challenges in keeping up with data demands while maintaining their quality of service,” saidSerge Matta, comScore President of Operator and Mobile Solutions.

“As bandwidth usage increases and the spectrum becomes more scarce, operators, OEMs, and others in the mobile ecosystem should understand the different dynamics between the use of mobile and Wi-Fi networks to develop strategies to optimize resources and provide their customers with continued high-quality network service.”

iPhone Users Significantly More Likely to Use Wi-Fi than Android Users
A U.S. analysis of Wi-Fi and mobile Internet usage across unique smartphones on the iOS and Android platforms reveals that 71 percent of all unique iPhones used both mobile and Wi-Fi networks to connect to the Internet, while only 32 percent of unique Android mobile phones used both types of connections. A further analysis of this pattern of behavior in the U.K. shows consistent results, as 87 percent of unique iPhones used both mobile and Wi-Fi networks for web access compared to a lower 57 percent of Android phones.

Mobile and Wi-Fi Internet Connection Activity Across iOS and Android Smartphone Platforms
February 2012

United States and United Kingdom
Source: comScore Device Essentials

Smartphone

 Platform

% of Smartphones that Browse Only

 via Mobile Networks

% of Smartphones that Browse via

Both Mobile and Wi-Fi Networks

United States
iOS 29% 71%
Android 68% 32%
United Kingdom
iOS 13% 87%
Android 43% 57%

U.K. Smartphones Show Higher Incidence of Wi-Fi Use Compared to U.S.
The comScore analysis also revealed that 69 percent of total unique smartphones in the U.K. browsed the Internet via both mobile and Wi-Fi network connections, compared to just 38 percent of U.S unique smartphones. U.S. smartphones on the AT&T network were more likely to use Wi-Fi than those on other major operator networks, likely due to AT&T having both a greater iPhone market share and the largest Wi-Fi hotspot network in America. In the U.K., smartphones on the Vodafone, Telefonica and Orange networks were more likely to use Wi-Fi than were others on other U.K. operators.

“The difference in mobile and Wi-Fi network usage across the U.S. and U.K. suggests that there are a few factors at play affecting Wi-Fi utilization rates,” said Matta.

“In the U.K., the scarcity of unlimited data plans and higher incidence of smartphone pre-paid contracts with a pay-as-you-go data model likely contributes to data offloading among users wanting to economize their mobile usage. In addition, the current lack of high-speed data networks in the U.K. might also lead users to seek out higher bandwidth capacity on Wi-Fi networks.

“In the U.S., the increased availability of LTE, 4G and other high-speed data networks currently make it less necessary for smartphone users to offload, but it’s also possible that the diminishing availability of unlimited cellular data plans will eventually push more usage to Wi-Fi.”

Mobile and Wi-Fi Internet Connection Activity Across Carriers
February 2012

United States and United Kingdom

Source: comScore Device Essentials

Carrier % of Smartphones that Browse Only

 via Mobile Networks

% of Smartphones that Browse via

 Both Mobile and Wi-Fi Networks

United States
AT&T 42% 58%
Verizon 68% 32%
T-Mobile (U.S.) 68% 32%
Sprint 71% 29%
Total U.S. 62% 38%
United Kingdom
Vodafone 25% 75%
T-Mobile (U.K.) 44% 56%
Three 46% 54%
Telefonica 28% 72%
Orange 24% 76%
Total U.K. 31% 69%

About comScore

Small businesses plan to increase online marketing in 2012

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

social media logosNearly 60% of small businesses surveyed plan on spending as much or more in 2012 as they did in 2011 on online marketing efforts, according to the 2012 AT&T* Small Business Technology Poll.

Inexpensive, modern grassroots marketing techniques – both online and offline – have grown to be among the most popular for small businesses in the past several years likely due to ease of use and general affordability.

While 79% of small businesses surveyed are using word-of-mouth to promote their business, 63% are using their company website, and 39% are using social media channels.

The AT&T Small Business Technology Poll**, which nationally surveyed more than 1,200 small businesses with two to 100 employees, also revealed the following:

Social Networks

  • Since 2010, the use of location-based social channels, such as Foursquare, among small business owners has nearly doubled from 5% to 9%.
    • 25% of small business owners using location-based services believe that the application is important for sales generation, compared to just 2% in 2010.
  • Small businesses with a LinkedIn presence increased from 25% in 2010 to 31% in 2011, a jump of 25%.
  • Small businesses with a Facebook presence increased slightly from 41% in 2010 to 44% last year, while those with a Twitter presence dropped slightly year-over-year from 19% to 18%.
  • While LinkedIn has always been a popular resource for recruiters, small business owners are increasingly using the social forum for networking with other businesses and gaining awareness from other businesses and consumers in the local community.
  • Surprisingly only 4% of small businesses are using daily deal sites (i.e. LivingSocial, Groupon) for marketing purposes, led by leisure/tourism/lodging, of which 14% are using these sites.
  • Of those businesses using daily deal sites, more than 90% are running promotions at least several times per year.

Digital Presence

  • Male business owners are more likely to rely on their company website for marketing than female owners (65% vs. 58%), while female business owners are more likely to rely on social media than their male counterparts (48% vs. 34%).
  • Among small business owners that are using wireless mobile devices, those in the education and non-profit fields are accessing social media at the highest rates, 50% and 52% respectively, compared to national average of 43%.
  • Three in four (75%) small businesses surveyed have a website, about the same as last year, with nearly a third (31%) having a mobile website – i.e., one designed for viewing on a smartphone.

Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, boast the highest ranked small business portals

Friday, March 16th, 2012

At&tThe top three telecom operators have the  highest ranked Small Business portals out of a  ranking of 49 companies, According to strategy acceleration firm Compass Intelligence.

The year-end review examines more than 20 capabilities across four parameters over the four quarters of 2011.

The research shows that Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have built some of the most comprehensive and diverse experiences for  Small  Business  customers  in  2011.

Vendors  are  scored  and  ranked  each  quarter  in  terms  of  their  ability  to provide relevant online experiences that extend beyond e-commerce. Aspects, such as online learning, site design and  messaging,  in  addition  to  e-Commerce  capabilities  are  examined,  using  monthly  research  with  decision- makers in this market as guidance.

Creating a relevant experience a challenge

“Creating a relevant experience for the Small Business market continues to be a challenge – one which vendors are taking head on.  Today’s Small Business portals are cleaner and more elegant than ever. They are also starting to include improved content hierarchies and thought leadership tailored to this market,” says Kneko Burney, Founder &  CEO  of  Compass  Intelligence.

“By  creating  an  experience  that  is  architected  around  the  way  in  which  Small Businesses operate and/or their goals – vendors can position their solutions in more relevant ways – resulting in better conversion rates over time.”

The  research  conducted  in  2011  suggests  that  a  strong  self-learn  environment  coupled  with  simple,  intuitive navigation will result in an “ideal” Portal environment for this market.

Sean Rowe, Portal Researcher at Compass Intelligence  adds,  “Sometimes  less  is  more,  and  Small  Business  Decision-makers  want  to  spend  as  little  time possible researching and purchasing products. I expect to see a lot of focus on tools and capabilities that help with the sale of products, being incorporated into product pages rather than external resource centers.”

Key Findings include:

  • 2011 Top 10 – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Cisco, XO Communications, Dell, IBM, Windstream, cBeyond and CenturyLink
  • Best Practice this period: Theme-based Simplicity – a clean site experience built around contextual content relevant to the target segment.
  • Best Help & Support: Sprint offers an extremely intuitive Help & Support center, which incorporates multiple media types.
  • Best Learn Experience: AT&T’s InSite offers the most to Small Businesses wanting to develop and grow.
  • Best e-Commerce: Dell offers tools to help Small Businesses by providing comparison tables, user ratings and product images.
  • Click to here to download a summary of this period’s customer research

TracFone top rated wireless carrier in 2012 Temkin ratings

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

TracFoneA new research report published by Temkin Group, 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings, rates the customer experience of 206 large companies across 18 industries. This is the second year that Temkin Group has released these ratings. The research, which is based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers in January 2012, includes seven wireless carriers: AT&TSprintT-MobileTracFoneUS CellularVerizon Wireless, and Virgin Mobile.

TracFone was the top rated carrier, but only received an “okay” rating. AT&TVerizon Wireless, and Sprint also earned “okay” ratings while the remaining carriers were rated “poor.”

The average ratings for the wireless carriers placed it 13th out of 18 industries in the study.

Temkin Group also analyzed the changes between 2011 and 2012 and found that customer experience in the wireless industry improved over the previous year.

All six carriers saw improvements

Led by Virgin Mobile and TracFone, all six carriers that were in both the 2011 and 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings had improved ratings. Sprint fell behind the other carriers with only a very slight improvement since last year.

“Customer experience improved across the entire wireless industry, but there’s still a long way to go,” states Bruce Temkin, author of the report and Managing Partner of Temkin Group.

This report can be accessed from the Temkin Group website at http://www.temkingroup.com or from the blog, Customer Experience Matters, at http://experiencematters.wordpress.com. The data can be accessed from the Temkin Ratings website,http://www.temkinratings.com.

AT&T leads in customer service as Sprint, T-Mobile lose ground

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

At&tAT&T took the lead in customer service quality in the last three months of 2011 as Sprint and T-Mobile lost ground, according to the latest study on phone-based customer service quality conducted by Vocal Laboratories Inc. (Vocalabs).

graphs

In telephone interviews conducted immediately following a customer service call during the three months ending December 31, 2011, 69% of AT&T customers surveyed were “Very Satisfied” with the experience, up from 65% a year ago.

Fifty-nine percent of Sprint customers gave the experience their top rating, down 12 points from the end of 2010; while T-Mobile posted a 17-point drop to end 2011 at 48% “Very Satisfied.” Verizon was effectively unchanged at 60% satisfaction.

“When companies get distracted, or focus on only one part of their customer experience or product portfolio, the overall customer experience can suffer. We will be watching Sprint and T-Mobile in 2012 to see if they can recover the ground lost in 2011.”

“Providing a consistently high-quality customer service experience requires ongoing commitment and focus throughout an organization,” said Peter Leppik, CEO of Vocalabs.

“When companies get distracted, or focus on only one part of their customer experience or product portfolio, the overall customer experience can suffer. We will be watching Sprint and T-Mobile in 2012 to see if they can recover the ground lost in 2011.”