Changes in Saudi telecom consumption trends to continue after COVID-19

Consumers express satisfaction with quality, reliability of telecom services since outbreak

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. A woman speaks on the phone in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 2, 2017.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A woman speaks on the phone in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 2, 2017.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

The consumption behavior in Saudi Arabia has changed since the onset of the coronavirus crisis, with more and more people now spending time online, according to a new survey.

The study, conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to highlight the key trends in telecom consumption, found that people in the kingdom have been doing more video calls, consumed more music and other lifestyle and related content online.

“A major increase in usage of telco services was expected in times where digital platforms became paramount to enable work from home, access media content and stay connected with friends and family," Thibault Werle, managing director and partner at BCG said.

"We found that consumption in KSA increased the most for video conferencing, lifestyle content and online music usage at 63 percent, 32 percent and 28 percent, respectively. To put that in perspective, that is 8, 6, and 12 percentage points higher respectively than the countries we surveyed," Werle said.

The study was conducted in 13 leading digital nations. It surveyed consumer actions and perceptions of telecom services in light of the current crisis.

According to the survey, 53 percent of the respondents in Saudi Arabia expect the behavior changes to continue after the lockdown.

The study also found that Saudi consumers are satisfied with the quality and reliability of telecom services since the outbreak.

Action points

BCG recommends the below four action points for telecoms in Saudi Arabia to address the behavioral changes.

  • Improve digital channel experience
  • Clearly articulate brand value proposition
  • Maintain emphasis on telecoms to improve service quality
  • Ensure affordable pricing for products and services

"Recent events have resulted in an underlying need for KSA telcos and decision-makers to lead the new reality," Werle said.

"Doing so has never been as important, and they are fully capable of delivering greater value, enhancing consumer experiences, and ensuring the Kingdom's telco industry can succeed post-crisis," Werle added.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; editing by Cleofe Maceda)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)

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