The voice and data services of Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile were scrutinized by enterprises of all sizes in a joint survey by Yankee Group and Mobile Enterprise magazine. Verizon and Sprint led voice satisfaction, while Sprint and T-Mobile led for data.
Yankee Group and Mobile
magazine surveyed large enterprises and small and medium-size
businesses about the voice and data coverage they're receiving from
calls the "Big Four" carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon
While AT&T and Verizon, the nation's largest carriers,
were the two most popular voice and data providers, it was Verizon and Sprint
that voice customers were most satisfied with. Regarding satisfaction with data
services, responses were more mixed, though Sprint was voted first by large
businesses and second by SMBs.
Large businesses were defined as those with more than 500
employees, while SMS were defined as having 500 or fewer.
Regarding voice service satisfaction, "Sprint ranks first in
overall satisfaction and ranks either first or second in nine of the 10
categories among large businesses," Gene Signorini, a Yankee Group analyst,
wrote in the Mobile Enterprise report.
The categories included topics such as voice quality,
account management and voice service pricing.
"Sprint's scores among SMBs are not quite as impressive,
with the carrier ranking third in overall satisfaction, but still finishing
first or second in five of 10 categories. Perhaps not surprisingly as a
market laggard, Sprint appears to be making aggressive moves on pricing to
improve its positioning among business customers," Signorini continued.
Beginning Jan. 18, AT&T
and Verizon introduced new, lowered pricing plans
. Sprint also put out a
news release about its prices - not lowering them, but reminding the public
of its already thrifty plans.
An indicator of overall satisfaction, according to Yankee,
is whether a company is considering switching carriers, and on this front, the
news again wasn't so good for Sprint.
"Despite their high satisfaction scores, a troubling 22
percent of Sprint's large business customers are evaluating switching to a new
primary wireless voice provider. This could indicate wariness on the part
of enterprise customers about Sprint's overall corporate health in light of its
recent financial troubles," Signorini wrote.
Verizon ranked second in voice service satisfaction among
large businesses, though it was first among SMBs.
For data service satisfaction, Sprint - which finished first
in overall satisfaction among large businesses and second among SMBs - and
T-Mobile earned the highest scores among large businesses. SMBs, however, preferred
"T-Mobile scores strong numbers for data services
considering that it
significantly lags behind the other three competitors in 3G network deployment
wrote Signorini. "Like Sprint, T-Mobile is positioning itself as the low-cost
provider, which is reflected in its top scores in data service and device
pricing among large business. However, as 3G competition heats up,
T-Mobile's low scores in data throughput will hinder its ability to make up
ground in the long term."
Large businesses indicated that data speeds are their number
one criteria in choosing a new provider, followed by data service pricing and
customer service and support. For SMBs, pricing was the most pressing issue,
followed by data coverage and network speeds.
"Business leaders should begin to use tools such as the
wireless voice and data satisfaction indices highlighted here to benchmark
wireless carriers across a wide range of key performance indicators," Signorini
"With wireless and mobile technologies continuing to evolve
at a rapid pace, the market leaders of today are not assured of long-term
success unless they continue to deliver and innovate in these key areas."
Later in January, Yankee Group will publish a companion
report offering deeper analysis of the survey results.