3 UK CEO Dave Dyson used the phrase “coverage is king” in referring to network differentiation as an increasingly important factor that drives subscriber growth. “Coverage is king, if you can serve content in a user friendly way, exclusive content will help but it is not going to be the major driver,” he said in response to Vodafone UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp’s recent statement that “content was the real driver.” Dyson also pointed out that as network quality became more and more important to customers in the current market, the influence of handsets continued to decline.
We agree with Dyson that coverage is a very influential factor in determining which operator consumers choose as their service provider, and although Hoencamp has said that content is the real driver of what people do and care about, he did acknowledge that 4G service is the enabler. “Our 4G entertainment packs are massively successful for the simple reason that customers do not buy 4G for the latest technology, which includes speed—they switch to Vodafone 4G because there is a particular content they want to access,” said Hoencamp. While on the surface it may appear that coverage really is the deciding factor in determining the best provider, exclusive content, as well as cost, and the amount voice minutes, SMS and data are among several other factors that are seen as deciding for customers choosing an operator’s plan. For the most part, operators with the strongest networks will attract the largest amount of subscribers, and MNOs that can deliver the highest-quality services to their customers will come out on top.
“The Tarifica Score™, a proprietary mathematical model, evaluates all of these factors and determines the ultimate value offered by a plan to consumers by comparing all its features against its cost. Coverage has value within The Tarifica Score™ if coverage is a factor within a particular country. Coverage in the UK’s rural areas does not live up to the same standards that are found in its cities. So while Vodafone may receive some points in our score from value-added services such as exclusive content, the coverage still needs to be there for it to come out on top.”
The Tarifica Alert