Airtel has been rated as the best cellular service by subscribers among the national players according to the latest annual TNS CellTrack 2005 study. The final tally for the top performer among national operators has been bagged by Airtel, which led with a TNS TRI*M Index of 82, followed closely by Hutch and Reliance with a TRI*M Index of 80 each.
Spice Telecom has been rated the best among the regional players while Reliance Infocomm has done well among the CDMA players. Tata Indicom, on the other hand, is below the industry average of 79, according to the study.
The study also highlighted the better performance of the regional players compared to the national players and also highlighted the fact that this year has seen a significant rise in the overall industry performance compared to the last two years, based on TNS CellTrack studies in the past.
Abraham Karimpanal, Vice-President (Telecom), TNS India, said, “Two key factors driving the ‘service provider-mobile user’ relationship is ‘trust’ and ensuring that the users ‘can make calls wherever they need to’ – and as an industry the service providers have done well on both counts. However, advanced non-voice applications are yet to become relevant to the Indian mobile user.”
Given the critical role played by the channel in the overall growth and market success of individual service providers, TNS CellTrack 2005 also covered the multi brand retail outlets, to understand their needs and expectations and to measure the performance of service providers when it comes to meeting these needs and expectations. Airtel and Hutch scored over others as far as meeting retailers’ expectations are concerned.
“Retailers today are happy to be business associates of big, trusted telecom brands in the market. They are also elated by the ‘market pull’ for almost all brands. While they endorse the overall quality of services offered by the operators, they feel that there is an urgent need to improve on the customer complaint management,” pointed out Karimpanal.
The study, which involved 3,028 mobile users and 1,066 multi-brand retail outlets, used a structured questionnaire across 17-telecom circles, covering both GSM and CDMA service providers. It also highlighted the handset preferences and market shares in the Indian market.
According to the study, Nokia dominates the GSM market with a market share of 80 per cent while LG leads in the CDMA market with a market share of 42 per cent. The study further reveals that screen display and multi-media features will drive brand and model choice in the future.