Global: The role of recommendation in choosing a mobile network and internet service
October 21st, 2021, Janice Fernandes

Global: The role of recommendation in choosing a mobile network and internet service

There’s always a certain amount of consideration that goes into purchasing any product and choosing a mobile network and internet service provider is no different. A recent YouGov survey across 17 markets shows that when it comes to purchasing these two services, roughly a third of global consumers rely on recommendations from someone they trust (34%).

From eight sectors, the two sectors where recommendation plays the most important role are when choosing a car and a healthcare provider (42% each), followed by choosing a financial service provider (38%) and a hotel brand to stay with (36%). The least important among these are picking an airline to travel (29%) and buying an alcoholic beverage (21%).

Recommendations for an internet service provider

Respondents in online Indonesia (46%), India (40%) and Hong Kong (38%) are among the most likely consumers to be influenced by someone’s recommendation when it comes to choosing an internet service provider.

Great Britain (39%) and Australia (39%) are the other two countries in the top five, while Singapore and the US are at 35% and 33%, respectively.

Our data shows that younger adults in Great Britain and the US have a higher propensity to listen to recommendations when it comes to choosing internet services (41% aged 18-24 in the US and 47% in GB). However, in Australia, among those who listen to recommendations a higher proportion of people (44%) are aged 55+, while in Singapore both 18-24-year-olds and those aged 55+ are more inclined to be influenced by recommendation (44% and 40%, respectively).

UAE (30%), China (30%), Italy (28%) and Germany (26%) feature at the lower end of the ladder, which indicates that other factors may play a stronger role in these consumers' decisions than recommendation does. A deeper analysis shows that age is not a factor in these four countries with a rough average of three in ten people across age groups influenced by recommendations when choosing an internet service provider.

Recommendations for a mobile phone network

Globally, recommendation is exactly as strong a factor when it comes to selecting a mobile carrier/networks as it is for choosing an ISP. But that fact hides differences within and between countries.

Hong Kong consumers find strong recommendations most important when choosing a mobile network (44%), followed by India at 42%.

US consumers, in one of the largest telecom markets in the world, do not listen to recommendations as much when it comes to picking their mobile networks (35%) although they are still slightly more likely to do so compared to when choosing an ISP. Consumers in Australia (37%) and GB (38%) are two and three points more likely than those in the US to lean on recommendations for mobile carriers.

Similar proportions in Singapore (35%) and UAE (32%) say that recommendations play a fairly important role in their purchase decision. Across the 17 markets, consumer age groups of 18-24 years old and 55+ tend to be more likely to follow recommendations from people they trust when purchasing a mobile network.

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Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 509 and 2124 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in August 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.