Goodbye telco, hello virtual network: Gen Y, iPhone users most likely to suffer bill shock

Aussies ditching their telco in droves, as it emerges almost half (46%) of mobile users have dumped their provider in the past three years. 

The high levels of churn have been driven by customer dissatisfaction, attractive deals available through Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) including the likes of Boost, Kogan Mobile and Amaysim who piggyback off the big telco’s networks, but offer keener pricing. 

Nearly half of those that have already fled telcos switched to MVNOs. 

Amaysim and ALDImobile are the most popular virtual operators, Telsyte Mobility Analyst, Alvin Lee told CN. 

“Nearly 40 per cent of mobile users are planning to or considering changing providers in the next 12 months, especially those who are already off fixed contracts,” he warns. 

However, there were no figures on the most-fled telco’s, although Amaysim and Telstra got top ratings by customers in Telsyte’s rating survey. 

Users who suffer ‘bill shock’ more likely to give their telco the elbow.
 “Younger age groups and iPhone users are more likely to have experienced bill shock during 2013, mainly due to the excessive usage of local data, rather than international roaming charges,” Lee says.

15 per cent of Australian mobile users experienced unexpectedly high bills, or “bill shock”, in the past 12 months, mainly due to the excessive usage of Internet data the survey shows. Ouch. 

However, it’s likely bill shocks caused by international roaming are more costly, says Lee. 

The trend to switching is expected to create opportunities for all operators including Vodafone, which despite recent losses, is looking to attract customers to its new 4G network, says Telsyte.

However, high-speed 4G/LTE continues to be a key differentiator for the big carriers like Telstra, Optus and Voda, with MVNOs having less access to 4G networks than older 3G/HSPA+ services. 

Telsyte expects 4G networks to make up nearly 70 per cent of all mobile services by 2017.

Analysts also predict the big carriers will compete against rivals like Boost, Amaysim with ‘family deals’, bundling a matrix of services via the NBN and new 4G services, including LTE-A (Advanced) and LTE-B (Broadcast) technologies.
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