Access to Information through Mobile Phones in Dhaka City

Access to Information through Mobile Phones in Dhaka City: A Study on Users’ Perception and Satisfaction

The introduction of mobile phone has been pretty late in Bangladesh compared to that of the neighboring countries. The mobile telecommunication service has been doubling on an annual basis over the last two or three years. Now information access through mobile phones in Bangladesh is increased. The purpose of this paper is to find out the determinants that are significantly influencing telecom customer’s perception in Bangladesh. The study surveyed 186 telecom customers in Bangladesh from Dhaka city to determine the key influential factors that significantly influence on their perception. The data analyses were conducted by exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling to test the hypothesis. The results of the statistical analysis reflected that most of the telecom customers are highly concerned about service quality followed by corporate image. It is hoped that the findings may assist the mobile phone operators in production of their services and promotion of their information services.
Key words: Information access, Consumer perception, service quality, brand image, customer’s satisfaction, Bangladesh.

Users’ satisfaction and perception is a psychological concept that involves the feeling of well-being and pleasure that results from obtaining what one hopes for and expects from an appealing product and/or service (WTO, 1985). Users’ satisfaction can also be defined as satisfaction based on an outcome or a process. Vavra's (1997, p. 4) outcome definition of users’ satisfaction characterizes satisfaction as the end-state resulting from the experience of consumption. This end state may be a cognitive state of reward, an emotional response to an experience or a comparison of rewards and costs to the anticipated consequences. Vavra also puts forth a definition of users’ satisfaction based as a process, emphasizing the perceptual, evaluative and psychological processes contributing to user satisfaction (1997, p. 4). In this definition, assessment of satisfactions made during the service delivery process.

Satisfaction is not a universal phenomenon and not everyone gets the same satisfaction out of the same service experience. The reason is that customers have different needs, objectives and past experiences that influence their expectations.(Pizam,1999) Therefore it is important to gain a clear idea of the customer needs and objectives that correspond to different kinds of satisfactions. This necessitates the segmentation of the market, because no service or product can offer everyone the same degree of satisfaction (WTO, 1985)

“Watson, come here: I want you.” This was the first message ever transmitted from one place to another, through a device called telephone. American genius, Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) along with his assistant Thomas Watson invented the device. It was March 10, 1876, an important day for human civilization, the first step towards developing means of communication. We’ve come a long way since then. Today, mobile phone is a part of our everyday life. Nowadays, the mobile phone is not only used for making calls, among many other functions it’s used for information services through text-messages and so called multi-media messages, as well as to connect us to the internet.

The mobile phone sector, in Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing business segments of the country which provide a lot of value addition to the society with its service and creation of employment opportunities. At present there are six mobile phone operators in the country with – GrameenPhone, Banglalink, Robi (Aktel), Teletalk, Airtel and Citycell. The total number of mobile phone active subscribers in Bangladesh has reached 85.455 million at the end of December, 2011. The present tele density in the country is about 46 percent.

The number of mobile subscribers has been increased dramatically. Over the last two to three years, the number of mobile subscribers in Bangladesh has been more than or close to more than doubling on an annual basis. The reasons behind this growth rate during April 2008 was largely due to declining call rates, falling prices of handsets and rising competition among operators. Consequently, the mobile phones become cheaper and affordable for people in the country with the increase in disposable income that improves the, quality of life in Bangladesh. People are showing interest in new technologies like Internet service on mobile phone. Besides, mobile companies are also adding new technologies in their services as a result more and more customers are buying mobile phones.

Thus it becomes a high concern for the companies to stay alive and win the market share by making the customer more loyal to their

firms. As competition increases, users bargaining power gets stronger, and building trust and image becomes more important, companies should put more focus on factors affecting loyalty among consumers. So in research objective is to find out the satisfaction level and perception of information services and brand preference of different mobile phone operator among users of Dhaka city.

Background of the study:
A study of mobile telecommunication service by Ibrahim, Istiaque and Islam (2007), they measured user satisfaction and perception by taking into consideration certain factors including customer care. A comparison between Grameen Phone, Robi, Banglalink and City cell was made. The results of the study were that the mobile operators placed considerable importance to the issue of user support. There is a positive correlation between user satisfaction and user support. When user support becomes wider the trend of satisfaction becomes stronger. A study made by Abraham Pizam and Taylor Ellis (1999) in hospitality enterprises found that if properly designed, administered and analyzed, the process of monitoring user satisfaction can be beneficial to any hospitality enterprise and make the difference between offering a mediocre product and an excellent, quality product. I, Qi, and Shu (2007) made a study to find out the satisfaction level of the usrs’ in mobile telecommunication market in China. They found that the competition between telecom operators became more intense in China. In addition, they discovered that the telecom operating management was emphasizing a lot to the user satisfaction and customer services, to improve the ability and for sustainable development in the competitive environment. It means that higher level of user satisfaction lead to greater customer loyalty, which in turn has a positive impact on profitability.

Smith, Bolton, and Wanger (1999), tried to develop a model that describes user satisfaction and the services encounter involving failure and recovery through mixed design experiment using survey method. Their study provided a framework for considering how service failure context and service recovery attributes influence customer evaluations through disconfirmation and perceived justice, thereby influencing satisfaction with the service failure/recovery encountered. They found that apology; speedy recovery and compensation of the failure had a positive effect
on customers „perception. Finally, this study also provided guidelines to the management for establishing proper fit between service failure and the recoveries as an effective response to the customers. Bolton R.N. (1998) developed a dynamic model of the duration of service provider-customer relationship that focuses on the role of user satisfaction. This study found that there is a positive relationship between the user satisfaction and the duration of the relationship. This study also suggested that organizations should focus on users in the early stages of relationship, because customers considered prior cumulative satisfaction heavily and the duration of the relationship depended on the satisfactory level. If users experienced were not satisfactory, the relationship was likely to be very short. This study also showed that changes in users’ satisfaction could have important financial implications for the organization because lifetime revenues from an individual user depended on the duration of his/her relationship.

1.3 Statement of the problem:
Mobile industry is an emerging industry in Bangladesh. There are different mobile operators in Bangladesh and there is a huge competition in this operator. So subscriber has various alternatives to choose their brands. There are different factor which affecting the user satisfaction and perception. Different types of users are the most significant market of the mobile operator. Also Dhaka city is the largest place of mobile phone users. If the mobile operator can not satisfy this segment they will lose a huge market. So my target measure user satisfaction and perception level of information access through different mobile operator.

1.4 Conceptual framework:
This research found that there is very limited literature focusing on user’s perception in the choice of a mobile phone operator where service quality, information access and users satisfaction play a significant influence. Based on the literature review; this study proposes a conceptual framework of studying dynamics of users perception and their behavior towards selection of an operator. This framework emphasizes on the following independent variables like service quality, information service and users satisfaction towards customers perception of selection an operator’s services.
To identify the satisfaction level there are some most important factors which can determine the user overall satisfaction level. These the independent variable like tariff, network coverage, tariff, network quality, availability of recharge point, VAS, Promotional offers, customer care, internet, number of fnf. the dependent variable is the user satisfaction.