J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Customer Satisfaction with Mobile Phone Providers in the UK Increases Notably in 2011 Primarily Due to Improvements in Network Quality and Cost

By J.d. Power And Associates, PRNE
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

LONDON, May 25, 2011 -

- Tesco Mobile Ranks Highest in Satisfaction among both Pre-Pay Mobile
Phone Customers and Pay Monthly Customers

Mobile phone customers in the UK are considerably more satisfied,
compared with 2010, particularly with call quality, coverage and cost of
service, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 UK Mobile Phone
Customer Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.

(Logo: photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20050527/LAF028LOGO-a)

Now in its 14th year, the study measures customer satisfaction with
pre-pay and pay monthly plans among the leading UK mobile network service
providers. Overall satisfaction with providers is based on performance across
six factors: call quality and coverage; offerings and promotions; cost of the
service; billing or topping up; customer service; and handset.

Overall satisfaction among pre-pay mobile phone customers averages 707 on
a 1,000-point scale in 2011 - 18 points higher compared with 2010. Similarly,
satisfaction among customers who are on monthly contracts has increased by 25
points from 2010, to an average of 698. Improvements have occurred across all
aspects of the customer experience, with the largest gains in the call
quality and coverage and cost of service factors.

Increased market penetration of smartphones and handsets with advanced
features among UK consumers is influencing these improvements. The study
finds that owners of smartphones and feature-rich models are notably more
satisfied overall (718, on average), compared with owners of traditional
mobile phones (701), particularly with factors related to cost of service and
handset satisfaction. Although smartphone users typically pay more for
service than owners of traditional handsets, the enhanced features and
utility of advanced phones are likely to elevate customer perceptions of the
value they receive.

In addition, the proportion of customers who indicate owning a phone with
smartphone capability has increased substantially during the past year. In
2010, 28 percent of pre-pay customers and 58 percent of contract customers
said their phone was equipped with a touch screen or QWERTY keypad. These
figures have increased to 40 percent and 86 percent, respectively, in 2011.

"The industry has made notable gains in strengthening network
infrastructure and has managed to do so without raising service costs, which
is undoubtedly good news for customers," said Stuart Crawford-Browne,
director of service industries at J.D. Power and Associates. "However, as
adoption of data-intensive smartphones increases, it will be interesting to
see how well providers keep up with pressure on networks, and whether price
increases and caps on data usage will ensue. These could curtail the positive
momentum on overall satisfaction that has developed during the past couple of

Pre-Pay Mobile Phone Provider Rankings

Among pre-pay providers, Tesco Mobile ranks highest for a second
consecutive year and achieves a score of 742. Tesco Mobile performs
particularly well in the call quality/coverage; cost of service; offerings
and promotions; and handset factors. Following Tesco Mobile in the rankings
are O2 (723) and Vodafone (720).

Pay Monthly Mobile Phone Provider Rankings

Tesco Mobile ranks highest in the monthly payment plan segment with a
score of 741 and performs particularly well in four of six factors: cost of
service; offerings and promotions; customer service; and handset. Following
Tesco Mobile in the segment rankings are O2 (718) and T-Mobile and Virgin
Media, in a tie (703 each).

The study results also include the following key findings:

    - The proportion of mobile phone users who contacted customer
      service has declined in both segments. Among pre-pay customers, 14
      percent indicate they contacted customer service in 2011, down from 22
      percent in 2010. Among pay monthly customers, these figures average 39
      percent and 55 percent, respectively.
    - A growing percentage of pay monthly customers are using an online
      account to monitor their usage activity and charges - 78 percent, on
      average in 2011, compared with 68 percent in 2010.

The 2011 UK Mobile Phone Customer Satisfaction Study is based on
responses from more than 3,400 pre-pay and pay monthly mobile phone customers
throughout the UK. The study was fielded in March and April 2011.

    Pre-Pay Segment
                                        J.D. Power.com
    Customer Satisfaction Index           Power Circle
    Ranking                                    Ratings
     (Based on a 1,000-point
    scale)                              For Consumers
    Tesco Mobile                742                 5

    O2                          723                 4
    Vodafone                    720                 4

    Pre-pay Segment Average     707                 3
    Virgin Media                705                 3
    Orange                      698                 3

    3                           691                 2
    T-Mobile                    679                 2

    Customer Satisfaction Component Weights -
    Pre-pay Segment
    Call Quality/Coverage        34%
    Offerings and Promotions     19%
    Topping Up                   17%
    Cost of the Service          16%
    Handset                      10%
    Customer Service              5%

    Pay Monthly Segment
                                       J.D. Power.com
    Customer Satisfaction Index          Power Circle
    Ranking                                   Ratings
     (Based on a 1,000-point
    scale)                              For Consumers
    Tesco Mobile                741                 5

    O2                          718                 4

    T-Mobile                    703                 3
    Virgin Media                703                 3
    Orange                      699                 3
    Pay Monthly Segment
    Average                     698                 3
    3                           695                 3

    Vodafone                    675                 2

    Customer Satisfaction Component Weights -Pay
    Monthly Segment
    Call Quality/Coverage        29%
    Cost of the Service          21%
    Offerings and Promotions     16%
    Billing                      15%
    Customer Service             10%
    Handset                       8%

    Power Circle Ratings Legend:
    5 - Among the best
    4 - Better than most
    3 - About average
    2 - The rest

About J.D. Power and Associates

With world headquarters in Westlake Village, California, U.S.A., J.D.
Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company
operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting,
performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The
company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from
millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit
of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial
information and education company that helps professionals and students
succeed in the Knowledge Economy. Leading brands include Standard & Poor's,
McGraw-Hill Education, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and
Associates. The Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees with more than
280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2010 were $6.2 billion. Additional
information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.

J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts:

Stuart Crawford-Browne, Guildford, Surrey; UK; +44-1483-207610;

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Michigan USA;
+1-248-312-4119; media.relations@jdpa.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in
this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and
Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate


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