STOCKHOLM: Traditional measures to gauge loyalty among smartphone users, such as Net Promoter Scores (NPS), have failed to keep up with changes to consumer behaviour, a new report has found.

Ericsson ConsumerLab said NPS no longer accurately determine network operator preferences, largely because they take no account of changing expectations of performance caused by the growing use of new apps and video streaming.

The research division of Ericsson, the Swedish telecoms firm, conducted a survey of 15,000 consumers across 14 countries, which it said was representative of 650m smartphone users.

It found that two in five smartphone users worldwide experience at least 11 issues a week and that video streaming glitches are now becoming more common.

Of particular note for telecom brands, the survey showed that mobile broadband experience remains the key driver of users' loyalty to their operator.

This is especially the case in high growth markets, such as India and Brazil, where mobile broadband experience is twice as important in driving smartphone user loyalty compared to the voice experience.

Indeed, the mobile broadband experience has three times more impact on smartphone users' loyalty than boosting their satisfaction with pricing and offers.

Users, particularly millennials, also measure performance by the speed with which they can upload content to social media sites and stream video – and this matters more than the extent and reach of network coverage.

"As new apps emerge and video usage behaviour evolves, network performance will matter more than ever and will determine how loyal smartphone users will be to their operators," observed Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Senior Advisor with Ericsson ConsumerLab.

And with mobile broadband experience identified as the key driver of users' loyalty, mobile telecom operators will also note that the study revealed mobile broadband experience is the main source of dissatisfaction among 73% of the survey participants.

Data sourced from Ericsson ConsumerLab; additional content by Warc staff