Singaporeans apparently more satisfied with telecommunication services, including Wireless@SG

Photo: YouTube screengrab

Singapore – The results for the latest edition of the Consumer Awareness and Satisfaction Survey (“CASS”) are in. Findings show that there has been an overall increase in the satisfaction of consumers with regards to Singapore’s key telecommunication services.

CASS 2018 was commissioned by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the leading organization for Singapore’s digital transformation through an Infocomm media industry.

The survey was conducted in order to better understand the level of satisfaction, consumer awareness and usage with key media and telecommunication services in Singapore such as fixed line telephones and broadband, mobile data, international roaming services, customer care and wireless@SG services.

A total of 1,500 household representatives were approached between March and May 2018 to take the survey.

From a range of 1 (“Very Dissatisfied”) to 5 (“Very Satisfied”), the respondents were asked to rate their level of satisfaction with the quality, price competitiveness and variety of the different services offered by the telecommunication service providers.

Fixed Line Telephone Services

Based on the last CASS which was conducted in 2014, there has been a decrease in subscriptions to fixed line telephone services. This remains true across all housing types, namely HBD flats (1-2 rooms, 3 rooms, 4 rooms and 5+rooms), condominiums or private flats, landed property and others; except HBD 1-2 rooms wherein they increased in fixed line telephone subscriptions.

The main reasons for discontinuing subscriptions to these services was the ownership of a mobile telephone line that served as a replacement (82.9%) followed by the residents not being at home most of the time (15%).

As for the satisfaction levels for fixed-line telephone services, the subscribers’ responses remained relatively the same for the quality of service and price competitiveness compared to the previous CASS results. For the quality of service, the mean satisfaction score was 4.01 compared to 4.12 in 2014 and 3.78 compared to 3.82 in 2014 for the price competitiveness.

Mobile Voice and Message Services

Across the 13 years covered by CASS’ periodic surveys, there has been a steady increase in mobile voice and message services subscribers. This year, a total of 96.5% of the respondents are subscribed to these services. Subscriptions to mobile voice and message services were close to 100% across all age groups and housing types.

As for the type of activities being conducted on mobile phones, social media ranked the top with 77.8% of the residents engaging in social networking. This was followed by traditional call and messaging and work-related activities.

Satisfaction levels for these services in different environments such as the general outdoors, public parks, home and office premises, malls and underground tunnels showed an increase with values at a 4-point except in underground tunnels which was at 3.16-point.

Photo: YouTube screengrab

Fixed Broadband Services

Satisfaction for the quality of service and price competitiveness of fixed broadband services increased with a mean score of 3.68 and 3.55, respectively. However, the satisfaction levels for the variety of services available decreased across all service providers such as SingNet, StarHub Online, M1 Broadband and MyRepublic.

Mobile Data Services

Out of the 1,500 respondents, almost 84% are subscribed to mobile data on their phones with 78.3% under 4G mobile network. When it comes to age groups using mobile data, the 60 years and above bracket doubled in size, from 25% in 2014 to 58.1% in 2018. All the other age groups also showed an increase.

For those who did not subscribe to mobile data services, the main reason was the lack of a need for mobile data (79.8%).

Satisfaction with mobile data coverage in different locations acquired a 4-point average except for underground tunnels which got a 3.09-point level of satisfaction.

Out of quality of service, price competitiveness and variety of services available, respondents were least satisfied with the price of mobile data services which got a 3.64-point mean score.

Customer care services also showed an improvement in mean satisfaction scores. This includes the time to resolve complaints and customer hotline waiting time.

IMDA’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General, Ms. Aileen Chia, said: “The increased take-up of, and consumer satisfaction with, our telecommunication services are encouraging signs pointing to a positive attitude towards a digital future and a willingness of our service providers to meet consumers’ rising service quality expectation. I urge our service providers to continue to innovate in their service offerings and make use of technology to deliver even better services to their customers and delight them.”

Furthermore, more consumers are now using Wireless@SG, from 20.8% in 2014 to 43.5% this year. Wireless@SG is the largest free Wi-Fi network in Singapore which is accessible for free at more than 20,000 hotspots across the country.

Areas for Improvement

The respondents shared their comments on key areas for improvement, all of which focused on better customer service in terms of reduced waiting time, prompt feedback and updates on complaints and improved competency of customer service agents.