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The consumer experience of 2012

Posted by Darren Willsher on 9th January 2013

Yesterday Ofcom released ‘The Consumer Experience 2012,’ its annual report into the consumer experience of the fixed and mobile, internet and digital broadcasting markets.

The link to the full report is here – it’s over 140 pages so not light reading. The good news is that we’ve read it so you don’t have to. Well, most of it, we do have social lives you know.

The report covers a surprisingly broad range of areas, for instance did you know that to complain about the postal service you go to Ofcom? Me neither (HT @nifs).

Some of the conclusions won’t come as a surprise – that mobile data is still on the rise along with smartphone ownership and that email is replacing posted mail for example, but the report is well worth a read and does go into a good amount of detail in each of the areas it covers.

Here are some of the highlights we’ve picked out:

  • Good news for VoIP companies, 78% are now aware of the services and just under three in ten now claiming to use them. This is just under three times the level of users in 2008.
  • While smartphone adoption isn’t headline news, the fact that 82% of adults own at least one internet connected device should get the interest of companies delivering mobile services. Close to 50% of adults now own a smartphone with the younger generation leading the way with a much higher level. Companies without a mobile version of the website – pay attention.
  • Smartphone data consumption has doubled; from 71Mb in July 2010 to 154Mb in February 2012. For operators looking at 4G, this bodes well. Next step, fixing that pricing structure (see my old blog here
  • Just under a quarter of UK consumers access TV content online every week, and 42% have done so at some point. The above point links to this, and this is another reason for mobile operators to sort out their networks and manage how people are accessing this content.
  • Telecoms complaints now total around 7000 a month, this compares to just 1000-2000 about broadcasting standards. Of these, less than half are satisfied about how providers handle their complaints. While this doesn’t look good for the providers, companies who can help manage customer experience should sit up and take note.

The report is (honestly) interesting reading, especially for anyone working in these sectors. It also contains a lot of potential good news for companies developing OTT offering and services that let operators get more value from their networks. Now that 4G has finally rolled out it will be interesting to see next year’s report and the impact it’s had on how we access services and content.


Darren Willsher

Darren has been with Wildfire for six years and is one of the driving forces behind the agency’s telecoms and networking portfolio, with experience working on a range of international, multi-channel accounts including CSR, Picochip (now Mindspeed), Real Wireless, The Small Cell Forum, Samsung and Allied Telesis.