Determinants of customers’ choice of service provider in the mobile industry in Kenya
Maburuka, Ismail Ramadhan
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Despite price reductions, availability of a wide range of products and value added services provided by telecommunication players in the Kenyan market, and establishment of Communication Authority of Kenya by the government of Kenya to regulate telecommunications operator’s activities, there is still a wide gap in market share in subscriptions and revenues between Safaricom Company Limited, and other players in the market. This study investigated the factors that determine a customer’s choice of mobile services provider in Kenya. Simple random sampling technique was applied to select a sample size of respondents picked from the county of Nairobi. Data was collected from the respondents using structured questionnaires. Descriptive and causal research designs were used in analysis of the data. The design was ideal in describing the characteristics of the large targeted sample used in the study. The research applied both quantitative and qualitative data analysis. The results of the study established that price and network quality are the two critical factors that subscribers consider important in their choice of a mobile service provider. Price came out as the factor that impact the choice of mobile service provider the most. Service quality came out as having a low significance in the choice of a mobile service provider by the subscribers. The study established that the key reasons given by the respondents for having a second mobile service provider is because of cheaper products and services, mobile money transfer services and clear network. Mobile service providers should implement sound pricing strategies, as the respondents indicated pricing as the most important determinant of their choice of mobile service provider. The results from this study will inform the mobile service operators on the critical factors that influence customers’ choice of mobile operators so as to develop sustainable strategies for growth of their mobile industry. Further research efforts can be done to examine the factors that determine customers’ choice of MSP in other counties in Kenya, the behavioural intentions of consumers on service providers to match consumers’ overall behavioural patterns with decision-making criteria of the service providers, and demographics influences on customers’ choice of service provider. The study was limited to Nairobi County. The study can be carried out in peri-urban and rural areas to enable service provider formulate policies and strategies specific to the regions in line with the preferences of the customer in the different regions.