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 ABSTRACTTelecomis one of the largest and fastest growing sector in India and the secondlargest segment in the world. Customer satisfaction and perception is theprimary goal of any business organization.

The telecom services have beenrecognized as a major weapon for the overall development of any country. It isone of the most needed services for growth, development, and modernization ofvarious sectors of the economy. Given the importance of customer’s perceptionand satisfaction in telecommunication business, a need has arisen that requiresdeep understanding of the parameters affecting customer’s choice of any serviceprovider.The main aim of the study was to understand the various services andproducts offered by the telecom service providers in India and to find out theperception of customers about the services being offered. The study has takeninto consideration five service providers – Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, BSNL,Relaince. The respondents were asked to rate the above five  service providers on their several attributes.The findings of the study revealed that Vodafone and Airtel cover up the majority amount of market share due toservice quality and network service parameters which is the most importantparameters from customer’s point of view. The results derived from the study indicate that the factor that inducesthe consumers to buy a particular mobile phone operator is call tariffsfollowed by network coverage and brand image.

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        TELECOM INDUSTRY AT AGLANCE 1.1 ABOUT INDIAN TELECOM SECTORThe telecom services have beenrecognized the world-over as an important tool for socio-economic developmentfor a nation. It is one of the prime support services needed for rapid growthand modernization of various sectors of the economy. Indian telecommunicationsector has undergone a major process of transformation through significantpolicy reforms, particularly beginning with the announcement of NTP 1994 andwas subsequently re-emphasized and carried forward under NTP 1999. Driven byvarious policy initiatives, the Indian telecom sector witnessed a completetransformation in the last decade. It has achieved a phenomenal growth duringthe last few years and is poised to take a big leap in the future also.The Indian Telecommunicationsnetwork with 1.

152 billion connections (as on December 2016) is the secondlargest in the world. The sector is growing at a speed of 45% during the recentyears. This rapid growth is possible due to various proactive and positivedecisions of the Government and contribution of both by the public and theprivate sectors.  The rapid strides in the telecom sector have beenfacilitated by liberal policies of the Government that provides easy marketaccess for telecom equipment and a fair regulatory framework for offeringtelecom services to the Indian consumers at affordable prices. Presently,all the telecom services have been opened for private participation.

 REVIEW OF LITERATUREDixit Sanjay, Shukla Harish, intheir study “A Study to Evaluate Mobile PhoneDependence Among Students of aMedical College and Associated Hospital of Central India” triedto find out the prevalence ofnomophobia in the Indian scenario considering the tremendous increase in thenumber of mobile phone users in the past decade. The result of the study showsthat this disorder is equally prevalent among the study group irrespective ofgender.Karthik ,(2009), in his research,” Customer Satisfaction onMobile Service Provider Networks”aimed at understanding the customersatisfaction in mobile service providers to find out the customer satisfactionlevel in mobile service provider players in the market and to know the customerperception towards other mobile service providers, this survey was done in twincities. From the analysis it was found that the choice of mobile handset andservices cannot be separatedif the customers are classified in to eight groupeach with some special requirement service wise.

Catoiu Iacob, Gardan DanielAdrian, (2010), conducted a research on the topic, “Romanian ConsumerPerception towards Mobile Marketing Campaigns”. The qualitative research was regardingfuture trends of mobile marketing and mobile media. According to findings theperception of the Romanianconsumers towards specific mobile marketing techniques is influenced primarilyby perceptions towards mobile services in general, and there are still no brandimages being associated with this new advertising channel.and handset?sattribute wise.Rahman Sabbir, Haque Ahasanul, Ahmad Mohd Ismail Sayyed(2011), in their study “ChoiceCriteria for Mobile Telecom Operator:Empirical Investigation among Malaysian Customers “investigated the choicecriteria for a mobile phone operator in the Malaysian Mobile Telecom market bythe customers. The outcome of this research shows a comprehensively integrated.RajpurohitProf.

R.C.S., Vasita Dr. M.L. (2011), in their research on the topic “Consumerpreferences and satisfaction towards various mobile phone service providers: anexploratory study in Jodhpur City, Rajasthan” concentrated on consumerpreferences and their satisfaction level towards the mobile phone serviceproviders available in Jodhpur city, Rajasthan. It is concluded from the studythat consumers prefer prepaid plans and all most every consumer treat theirmobile phone as a necessity.

Rahman Dr.Muhammad Sabbir,(2012), in hisstudy “Service quality, corporate image and customer?s satisfaction towardscustomers perception: An exploratory study on telecom customers in Bangladesh”aimed at the determinants that are significantly influencing telecom customers perceptionin Bangladesh. The results of the statistical analysis reflected that most ofthe telecom customers are highly concerned about service quality followed bycorporate image.Pandit Richa, Upadhyay Devina (2012), in their study “Consumerperception towards 3G mobile technology gives some positive and some negativeinfluences Attitude towards Using (ATU) 3G services” tried to find out consumerperception towards the usage of 3g mobile technologies and to study the consumer’susage pattern of 3G mobile Technologies in Ahmedabad. The study revealed thatspeed of 3G mobile technology is higher than other generations of  technologies in India; Smart phones are moresuitable for using 3G technologies than mobile phones in India.           RESEARCH OBJECTIVES·        To Understand the perception of thecustomers with respect to services offered by various telecom service providers.

·       To study the customer satisfaction regardingthe services of telecom operators.·       SCOPE OF THE STUDYð  Scopeof the study is to find out the perception of customers about the servicesbeing offered and the customer expectations. ð  Thestudy was done taking five telecom service provider into consideration. Theyare BSNL, Idea, Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance.ð Thecustomers chosen for the survey are those who are availing services of thepublic or private sector operators for reasonable time and therefore areanalyzed for their level of satisfaction about the services being provided tothem  RESEARCHMETHODOLOGYThepresent research work is limited to study the consumer preferences andsatisfaction towards various mobile phone service providers in Ambala ,Haryana.The research design used for the research problem in hand is exploratoryresearch which is also termed as formulative research. The major emphasis inexploratory research is given on the discovery of ideas and insights of theresearch problem.

The sample design adopted for the research problem in hand isconvenience random sampling. The sample size for the study is 250. The sampleunit of the study included different occupation, age, income and educationalbackground. For the study in hand, both the primary and secondary data iscollected. The primary data for the study is collected directly from target respondents  through structured questionnaire. For thecustomers ‘cold calling’ was the approach employed. The customers coming to theretailers were approached and as per their convenience and acceptance , thequestions were put to them and the answers given by them duly filled up.

 The secondary data for the study is  collected from different sources such astechnical and trade journals, articles, newspapers, magazines, internet,periodicals, books, reports, publications of associations related to mobile phoneservice providers.DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATIONSampling Profile-  Out of the whole sample 68% respondents were males and 32% respondentswere females. Majority customersprefer prepaid connections over postpaid connection. Out of total sample 62%people prefer using prepaid connection rather than postpaid connection.As per the data,it  has been  analyzed that in spite of tough competitionsbetween GSM and CDMA service providers, the GSM has earned a huge market sharewith 69%. There are only 5% people who are willing to use both thetechnologies. Only 26 % people prefer CDMA which is very less compared to thelevel of competition and GSM’s market share. Rate thefollowing attributes of your service provider.

1.Customer Care InterpretationAs perthe survey conducted and its findings, it was concluded that Airtel is leaderin maintaining a good relations with its customers and it solves customers’problems efficiently and effectively. It has got the highest preference by thecustomers with 69%, followed by Vodafone with 54%. The lowest preference is ofBSNL. Its customer care is not as good as the other players in the market, asper the findings. It is preferred by only 17% customers2) Per call charges:2.

1) ISD(International Subscriber Dialing) InterpretationAs perthe findings, it was concluded that, once again Airtel’s ISD charges are verygood compared to the other operators. 29% people think that it has very goodISD charges, followed by BSNL and Vodafone having 28% and 23% preferencerespectively. The poorest ISD call charges are of Reliance which is voted by20% people. Among the average category, highest is 28% of Idea which means 28%customers feel that Idea has an average ISD call charges. 2.2) STD (Subscriber Trunk Dialing)InterpretationAs thegraph shows, it can be said that STD call charges are very good in case ofBSNL, 37% people prefer that, followed by Airtel and Vodafone which ispreferred by 30% and 28.66% customers respectively.

In case of very poorcategory, Reliance is having the poorest STD call rates with 14.02% customers’preference.3) Message ServiceInterpretationFrom thesurvey, the information related to message service was found and it wasconcluded that Vodafone provides the best messaging services to its customers andit is preferred by 36.

20% customers, followed by Airtel with 30.41% customerpreference. In case of the poorest message service, BSNL is rated highest with13.89% customers, followed by Idea with 11.

63%. There is very close rating invery poor section. Reliance is just behind Idea with 10.11% rating. In case ofaverage rating, Idea is at the top place with 33.91% customer preference,followed by Airtel with 31.

01% ratings. 4) NetworkInterpretationAs perthe findings on the basis of this attribute, it was found that Vodafone hasvery good network coverage with 47% rating, followed by Ideawith 34.24% rating.It shows very close competition for network. BSNL got this higher averagerating because according to the survey, people also take roaming network intoconsideration and on the basis of that it was found that.5) SchemesPercentageBreakup   Airtel Vodafone Idea BSNL Reliance Very Poor 6 7 11 4 6 Poor 12 9 21 18 14 Average 37 29 21 22 17 Good 19 23 24 29 29 Very Good 26 32 23 27 34  Interpretation-As thegraph shows, the customers’ preferences in case of service providers’ differentschemes are maximum in case of Reliance for its new schemes related to — asper the customers’ responses and findings. Airtel is rated highest among theaverage category with 37% customer preference. Here, the graph also shows thatthere is a close competition between BSNL and Reliance in case of good ratingcategory because of its cheap schemes related to talk time and validity.

Vodafone is just behind Reliance with 32% rating. 6) Talk time and ValidityPercentageBreakup   Airtel Vodafone Idea BSNL Reliance Very Poor 3 7 5 4 5 Poor 15 9 10 12 10 Average 18 19 31 20 28 Good 28 29 26 23 26 Very Good 36 36 28 41 31  InterpretationCustomers’choices differ from area to area. Here,it was found from the gatheredinformation that BSNL has got very good talk time and validity.

In spite of theclose competition, BSNL has leaded the market with 41% customers’ preferences,followed by Airtel and Vodafone with 35.70% and 36% ratings respectively. Incase of the average customers’ preferences, Idea is a leader with 31% ratingsfollowed by Reliance with 28% customer ratings. 7) Value Added Services (VAS) PercentageBreakup   Airtel Vodafone Idea BSNL Reliance Very Poor 3 4 10 11 10 Poor 2 7 7 22 18 Average 17 14 25 24 21 Good 37 32 27 19 25 Very Good 41 43 31 24 26  Interpretation- As theabove graph clearly depicts that extra benefits i.e. VAS are very well providedby Vodafone with 43.

06% followed by Airtel with 41% customers’ preference.There is a tough competition between Vodafone and Airtel in the market. But thepoorest and the lowest VAS are provided by BSNL as per the customers’preferences survey.

It has the highest rating i.e. the poorest rating of 11%.The average VAS preferred by the customers is of Idea which has the rating of25%.    8) Availability:PercentageBreakup   Airtel Vodafone Idea BSNL Reliance Very Poor 5 4 3 7 8 Poor 7 7 6 10 12 Average 12 10 33 13 29 Good 32 33 27 31 23 Very Good 42 46 31 39 28  Interpretation-As theabove graph reveals, the very good availability of the telecom brand isVodafone having 45% customers’ ratings. Airtel is at the second place with theminor difference of 42%.

There is a tough competition going on among Vodafone,Airtel and BSNL in case of availability as per the data gathered. The averageavailability is of Idea with 33% followed by Reliancewith 29%. Very pooravailability is of Reliance. It has got 8% customers’ ratings.9) Billing system: PercentageBreakup   Airtel Vodafone Idea BSNL Reliance Very Poor 2 3 2 11 6 Poor 6 5 6 16 14 Average 15 20 27 23 24 Good 36 33 28 22 25 Very Good 41 39 37 28 31  InterpretationAs theabove graph shows, the billing system is very good of Airtel with 41% customerpreferences followed by 39% of Vodafone. 10) Voice clarity: PercentageBreakup   Airtel Vodafone Idea BSNL Reliance Very Poor 3 2 4 8 6 Poor 5 4 3 14 10 Average 11 12 23 18 19 Good 37 33 31 29 31 Very Good 44 49 39 31 34  InterpretationFrom thesurvey conducted and from the above graph, it was concluded that voice clarityis much better of Vodafone which is rated highest having 49% customers’preferences. At the second place, it is Airtel with 44% rating.

The averagequality of voice clarity is of Idea with 23% ratings. Voice clarity of Relianceand BSNL got low customer preference as compared to others. BSNL has thepoorest voice clarity and rated as the worst operator by 8% people.   FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION The results derived from the study indicate thatthe factor that induces the consumers to buy from a particular mobile phone operatoris call tariffs followed by network coverage and brand image.

The study also highlightsthat majority of respondents are satisfied with the value added services offered by their mobile phone serviceproviders. Airtel is leading the telecom industry overall by its good servicedelivery mechanisms and handles customer problems efficiently and effectivelywhile BSNL is the least preferred by the customers due to its poor customersupport services. The study also revealed that BSNL haslost its market value due to the presence of fresh entrants  in the telecom market subsequent to which itsmarket position has decreased. Thefindings derived from the study will be helpful for mobile phone serviceproviders in deciding and implementing their sales strategy for the promotionof mobile phone services.            REFERENCES 1.      Catoiu,I.

,Garden,A.D., (2010) ” Romanion consumer perception towards mobile marketingcampaigns”. Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, Vol.12, Issue 2.2.      C.R.

Kothari,”Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques”, 2nd Edition.3.      Dixit,

al (2010). ” A study to evaluate mobile phone dependence among students ofmedical college and associated hospital of Central India” . Indian Journal ofcommunity medicine.

35(2), 339-341.4.      J.E.Hood, “Telecommunication Network”, 2nd Edition.

5.      JochenSchiller, “Mobile Communication”, 2nd Edition.6.      NareshK.

Malhotra, Satyabhushan Dash, ” Marketing Research”, 5th Edition,Pearson Education.7.      Pandit,R.,Devina,U.(2012), ” Consumer Perception towards 3G mobile technologies”. Globalresearch Analysis.

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      Rajpurohit,S.R.,Vasita,L.M. (2011) ” Consumer preferences and satisfaction towards variousmobile phone service providers” Vol.7,pp1-11.9.

      Rahman, (2011) ” Choice criteria for mobile telecom operator: EmpiricalInvestigation among Malaysian customers”. International Management Review.Vol.7(1),pp.

50-57.10.  Rahman,S.M. (2012) ” Service quality corporate image and customers satisfaction : Anexploratory study on telecom customers in Bangladesh”. Business IntelligenceJournal. Vol.

5(1). Pp.56-63.11.

in/IndianTelecomIndustry/issues.asp14.  http://www.ey.


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