Canadian consumers are not in a rush to upgrade their wireless devices to newer models and, as a result, are experiencing more network quality issues, especially among heavy data users, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Canada Wireless Network Quality Study.
J.D. Power, a global market research company, said 23 per cent of customers have had their phone for more than two years, an increase from 21 per cent in 2017. People who own a newer phone, six months or less, experience fewer slow web and app connection difficulties than people with older devices.
“Consumers’ increased appetite for heavy data-based websites and apps, such as streaming HD videos, are causing bottlenecks and impairing the performance of wireless networks when coupled with older devices,” said Adrian Chung, director of the Technology, Media and Telecom Practice at J.D. Power in Canada, in a statement. “Although these issues are more related to end-user devices and their ability to process data rather than network capacity, it has a negative effect on a carrier’s brand image.”
The study found that unlimited data plans in Canada are of limited availability compared with the United States – six per cent versus 36 per cent. It said customers in Canada with unlimited data plans or those with higher data caps experienced more web and app network-related issues, compared to lighter users with smaller data plans.
“Since one in three Canadians are opting for five GB or higher data plans to enable increased data-driven wireless experiences, wireless networks and devices are pushed to their limits,” said Chung. “Carriers should be mindful about this trend and the effect it has on their reputation. Network upgrades and more compelling trade-in programs for heavy users are examples of potential remedies.”
Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.
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