Operators should expect increased demand from consumers for shared data plans that extend beyond current offerings and provide more transparency, Ericsson has warned.
According to a report from the vendor's ConsumerLab division, a sharp increase in smartphone “power users” currently using shared plans will result in demand for additional capabilities and services.
For example, 20 percent of users now expect free access to movie and TV content, alongside the ability to link it to their fixed broadband service.
Consumers also expect better app coverage and the ability to extend their plan to cover wearable devices, the report, Embracing Data Sharing, found.
Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Senior Advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab, said: “About one quarter of smartphone users currently on shared data plans are ‘power users’, who consume large amounts of mobile data.
“In the future, this proportion is expected to rise by 42 percent, which would equal 40 percent of all shared plan users across the six markets that we studied: Brazil, India, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US.”
Alongside additional capability, the report also revealed customer dissatisfaction around data and billing transparency.
Forty-six percent of consumers are not satisfied with operators’ clarity when it came to billing, with a further two in five unhappy about the ability - or lack thereof - to monitor and modify data usage.
Operators need to provide “real-time transparency” around data and billing options, be clear about the costs involved and offer customers the option to manage their plans in real-time, the vendor said.
Singh Sethi commented: “The growing number of options available is creating a high level of complexity in managing multiple subscriptions. Consumers think shared data offerings can help solve this digital connectivity conundrum.
“Consumers are ready to embrace shared data plans, but understanding consumers’ needs and expectations will help maximise consumer satisfaction.”