UK consumers would be inclined to pay more for better telecoms services, to the tune of £1.45 billion per year in additional industry revenues, but half would terminate their contracts immediately in the event of a security breach, according to new research.

Based on a poll of 2,000 UK adults, professional services firm KPMG found customers would pay an extra £900 million per year for improved customer service and eliminating dropped calls, and £550 million per year for reliable broadband connectivity, equivalent to 10 percent of UK providers’ average revenue per user.

At the same time, half of them said they would immediately cancel their contract in the event of a personal data leak, even if the action resulted in a financial penalty.

A security breach is twice as likely to prompt consumers to switch providers as being subjected to rude or unhelpful staff, the research found.

Alex Holt, Partner and Head of Telco, Media and Technology, KPMG in the UK, said: “Tolerance is extremely low for anything that prevents connections with the devices or services [consumers] want.”

He added: “By focusing on building trust with their customers, there is a clear opportunity for telcos to increase revenues and become the trusted gateway for tomorrow’s connected consumer.”

The survey also suggested UK consumers are well disposed to new technologies, and bundled services, with around half willing to purchase either smart watches or connected kitchen appliances from their telecoms provider.

Around one in five would consider buying connected household security from their telco, the research found. 

A third of respondents said they would consider a single quad-play contract for television, broadband internet, landline phone, and mobile services.

The remainder are nervous about being over-reliance on a single provider.

Holt said: “We believe that telcos have a great opportunity to define the connected world.

"They need to take action now, invest in great infrastructure and position themselves as the logical and trustworthy digital curator to the consumers exciting, but daunting journey into the connected world.

"In short - get the basics right today to realise the opportunity of the connected world tomorrow.”

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