New research from Nokia has shown that mobile phone users on a contract are choosier about their service providers and change operators more often than pay-as-you-go customers.
Over 3,900 mobile phone users in the UK, US, Germany, Thailand and Brazil were surveyed by market research firm GfK to investigate 'churn', the rate at which customers change their provider.
The results showed that, although cost may be important to attract customers initially, it is much less important when it comes to keeping customers in the long term.
"Churn is a costly fact of life for many operators today, so anything that sheds light on how we can keep subscribers loyal is very welcome indeed," said Bosco Novak, senior vice president for services at Nokia.
Customers most likely to switch providers are young, recent subscribers with a medium or high income. They also tend to be contract customers and have one of the highest rates of mobile spending.
The study showed that customer loyalty derives from factors such as brand image, network quality and switching barriers, rather than cost related issues like calling plans.
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