Survey Findings towards Mobile Services Usage and M-Commerce Adoption
Iosif Androulidakis Chris Basios* Nikos Androulidakis
University of Ioannina NTUA NottinghamTrent Univ.
Network Operations Computer Network Lab Nottingham Business
Center Heroon Politechneiou 9 School
451-10 Dourouti 151-22 Zografou Fokeas 8, 156-69 Papagou
GREECE GREECE GREECE
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
* Corresponding author
Despite the fact that diffusion of mobile commerce in Europe has been exceptionally fast during the last
years, the adoption of so-called value-added mobile services by Greek consumers has not, yet, been quite successful.
In order to investigate this issue, in this paper, we present the results of a survey conducted in the University of
Ioannina, Greece according to which 315 participants were asked about quite many key factors concerning various
aspects about the usage of their mobile phone. The resultants are very interesting and can be considered as a
potential guide by various mobile operators for their future economic and technological investments.
Keywords: questionnaire survey, technology penetration, mobile usage, m-commerce, content preference
1. Introduction trends in mobile phone usage among adolescents
[NTT DoCoMo Rep. 10, 2001]. Another survey
The remarkable growth of mobile services was conducted in April 2001, and it examined the
has outperformed experts’ expectations. From a mobile phone usage among elderly [NTT DoCoMo
marginal industry in the shadow of other Rep. 11, 2001]. The respondents were 300 men and
telecommunications providers (e.g. fixed line and women in their sixties. The survey conducted in
the Internet), it has become a leading sector November 2000 involved 1000 subjects and
providing commoditized services. investigated the use of mobile phones in every day
At the beginning of 2004, there were over urban life [NTT DoCoMo, Rep. 9, 2001]. All of
1.3 billion cell-phone users, while over the next these surveys indicate the growing importance of
three years the demand for mobile services is mobile phones in everyday life and the increased
predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 9.1% popularity of new features such as email.
[Lonergan D. et al., 2004]. However, this growth In a recent survey of mobile users versus
mainly stems from the deployment of new shoppers in Finland, Germany and Greece
networks in developing countries rather than from [Vrechopoulos A.P. et al., 2002], mobile shoppers
an inclining penetration in developed states, where were less focused on price and more on ease of use
the market has almost saturated. than mobile users but these differences were not
Despite immense expectation, mobile data consistent across countries. Thus the findings may
revenues still account for only 12–15% of Western indicate that the early adopters of mobile data
European operators’ ARPU [Marcussen C. H., services and adopters of traditional mobile services
2003], and the majority of that (85%) is driven by are not that different. The above remarks were also
SMS. On the contrary to the aforementioned verified by some exclusive studies for the Greek
numbers, Greece is a rather promising country for mobile market [Androulidakis N. et al., 2004,
adopting new mobile services, as - according to Androulidakis N. et al., 2005].
latest statistics - mobile phone owners appear to
overtake Greeks owning conventional fixed line 3. Research Analysis and Results
telephones. A significant proportion of these
mobile users corresponds to young people and thus 3.1 Methodology
we decided to survey their opinion and preferences
about various issues related to mobile services, Our survey was conducted using in-person
ranging from preferences on specific mobile delivery technique [Dillman D.A., 1999], with a
operators to their intention on adopting new value- total of 315 respondents participating in this
added services on their mobile phone. survey. All the respondents were students in
In the rest of this paper, section 2 presents University of Ioannina and were asked for their
related work on surveying users’ opinions participation in a questionnaire. Having such a
regarding various aspects towards mobile phone supervised survey technique ensures that each
usage. In section 3 we analyze the methodology we respondent understands each of the questions and
used in our survey. Furthermore, we present - and answers them correctly [Pfleeger S. L. et al.,
briefly discuss - all the results coming out of the 2001].
survey. Finally, in section 4 concluding remarks are Targeting such a group is due to the fact
drawn. that we wanted the participants to form a
representative set in a certain age area (18-24),
2. Related Work which corresponds to a major percentage of the
overall users in the current mobile Greek market
Although there have been quite many and thus have the potential to adopt new services as
theoretical studies concerning mobile services, a well. As far as concerning the gender statistics,
significant mean for investigating and 34,17% of the participants were men, while 65,83%
understanding users’ preferences is asking their were women. We selected ‘gender’ to be our main
opinion via specific questioning techniques (i.e. in- variable, as it appears to be a rather significant
person delivery or e-mail questionnaires). There factor towards the adoption of mobile services
exist several survey studies in this direction [NTT [Ling R., 2001].
DoCoMo, Rep. 9, 2001, NTT DoCoMo Rep. 10,
2001, NTT DoCoMo Rep. 11, 2001]. Some of 3.2 Survey Results
these surveys assessed customer’s perspectives on
the mobile phone services, while some others Our survey was categorized in two main
surveys by NTT DoCoMo - which are briefly parts. In the first one, we are surveying some
mentioned in the next lines -examined the way generic issues concerning the preferences of the
mobile phone owners use their phone. A survey service operators or the mobile brands, while in the
started at the end of year 2000 described the current second one we emphasize on the users’ positions
about various factors that aim to enable the fastest
possible adoption of new mobile services (i.e. 80
service accessibility factors, factors for adopting 70
multimedia services etc.). 60
3.2.1 Generic Queries 40
184.108.40.206 Mobile Phone Usage 20
An interesting query that shows a general
reflection of the penetration of mobile industry in Yes No
Greek market is, among others, the number of
mobile phones that each user owns. The
participants were asked to define the number of Figure 2: 2.5G/3G services usage by gender.
mobile devices each one own and the results are
shown in figure 1. According to the results, 45,26% of the
men participants have used (even once) 2.5/3G
mobile services and so have done 30,6% of women.
This seems to be quite a contradictory result since
Cosmote (one of the leading operators in Greece) is
60 one of the first operators in Europe to launch i-
mode, while all main Greek mobile operators
Men (Cosmote, Vodafone, TIM) have already launched
Women 3G services.
One logical explanation for this result is
20 the high prices of the services along with the fact
that most of the students are not yet self-supported
and thus they appear to be quite hesitant to
>3 3 2 1 None additional expenses regarding new value-added
Number of mobile phones services.
In the second figure of this subsection we
Figure 1: Number of mobile phones that each present the results that come from the participants’
participant own. answers regarding whether they own a computer or
As it was expected most of the mobile
users own just one device (66,55%), but an
interesting portion of the participants (24,46%)
holds two devices. In particular, 62,11% of men 80
and 68,85% of women own one mobile phone, 70
while the respective percentages when referring to 60
two devices are 21,05% for men and 26,23% for 50 Men
220.127.116.11 Users’ Technology Profile 20
In order to have a deeper view of our 0
participants’ ‘technology’ profile, we have asked Yes No
them some common questions regarding their
ownership of a computer, their 2.5G/3G experience Figure 3: PC usage by gender.
and whether or not they have Internet access.
In the first figure we present the results As the figure shows, men owning a
related with the participants’ responses to our computer are 85,26%, while only 60,11% of
question if they have ever used 2.5G or 3G women own one. Considering that all the
services. participants are students from 18-24, the overall
68.71% owning a computer is, according to our
opinion, quite small, despite the fact that appears to
be much over a respective average percentage
(27,1%) that derives from another survey -
presented in the next paragraph - regarding Greek 2005], the penetration of mobile phones is very
users. high in the EU 15 (70 %), probably not far from
[GRNet, 2003] survey, surveying 2.802 saturation, while still growing in the New Member
individuals detected a widespread use of new States as well as in Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.
technologies across Greece, concluding in an Slightly more than half of the EU 15
important increase of the four-layered indicator of population uses a computer, while only 30 % of the
new technologies use in 2003, with a 2.1% increase citizens in New Member States and Candidate
of the population using all main new technologies Countries (RO,BG,TR) do so. With respect to
(mobile phone, PC, the Internet and bank cash 2001, internet penetration in the EU 15 - when
machines) compared to 2002. measured in terms of internet users as percentage of
Figure 4 depicts the survey’s results that the total population - has globally increased from
aroused from the participants’ responses referring 34,3 % to 43,5 %; this trend has affected all
to whether they have Internet access or not. considered age groups and socio-economic
categories, although to different extents (see
70 Luxembourg and the UK now join the
60 Nordic countries and Netherlands in scoring an
Internet access rate above – or much above - the 50
% threshold. A group of countries – such as Italy,
40 Men Belgium, Austria, Germany are positioned around
30 the EU average; Ireland, Spain and France still
20 have a lower than average access rate (~35%),
together with Portugal and Greece (~21%).
18.104.22.168 Mobile Service Operator
Originally, in Greece, there were two
Figure 4: Internet access by gender. players on the market: Panafon (now Vodafone)
and STET (now TIM), but competition intensified
According to our survey’s results, only after the fixed telephony incumbent’s subsidiary,
58,95% of men participants and 39,89% of women COSMOTE, entered the market in 1998, followed
have Internet access. Despite the gender difference, by a fourth competitor, Q-Telecom. At the end of
the total percentage of the participants that have June 2004, Cosmote was the first telecom service
accessed Internet is quite small (46,40%), if we operator in number of subscribers (4.1 millions),
consider that all 315 participants are University followed by Vodafone (3.7 millions), TIM (2.5
students, a social cluster that should access Internet millions) and Q-Telecom (0.5 millions) [Antoine
by greater likelihood for either personal or P. et al., 2005].
educational use. In this first subsection, we present the
Internet access has been the objective for distribution of the users’ preference among the 4
another survey conducted among Greek users. existent mobile service operators in Greece:
According to this survey being conducted every ‘Cosmote’, ‘Vodafone’, ‘TIM’ and ‘Q-Telecom’.
four months by GFK Market Analysis, the number The participants were asked to determine which
of Internet users in Greece appears to be stable in operator’s services are currently using either in the
the last years [Veglis A., 2004]. According to the form of a contract or in the form of pre-paid cards.
survey results, the number of Internet users in
Athens, Thessaloniki, and in other major urban 45
areas increased dramatically during 2002. But since 40
November 2003, the number of Internet users 35
appears to be constant. This phenomenon is more 30
intense in urban areas where the percentage of
Internet users exhibits a marginal increase from 15
34.5 percent to 34.8 percent. In rural areas we have 10
a marginal decrease. The latest findings indicate 5
that 37 percent of men are Internet users, while the 0
18–24 age group shows the highest rate of Internet Cosmote Vodafone TIM Q-Telecom
use at 49 percent.
It is interesting to parallel all the above
results with those coming up from a European Figure 5: Mobile operators preferences.
survey. According to the latest Eurobarometer data
[Commission of the European Community,
The figure depicts the current status of the of 2003 prepaid users accounted for over 50% of
telecommunications market in Greece; Cosmote the install base worldwide [Lonergan D., et al.,
and Vodafone appear to be the most preferable 2004].
operators among various players, as mobile users Limitations in the back-end systems are
seem to trust their developed infrastructure and the often the main reason why operators are unable to
favorite “brand name” they have acquired over the launch new services uniformly for pre-paid and
last years. In particular, a total of 39,21% of the postpaid customer bases. The two groups of users
participants is using Vodafone’s services, while are often managed using separate back-end
38,29% of them are using Cosmote’s services. systems, and not all legacy billing mechanisms
allow real-time charging or proper control and
22.214.171.124 Mobile Brand Name authorization for content delivery to pre-pay
Another interest part of our survey is The participants’ preference on a certain
related to the users’ preference concerning their mobile payment model is presented in this
preference on the mobile brands. As the subsection. The columns refer to the 3 possible
manufacturers appear to be quite many in today’s choices: ‘Pre-paid’, ‘Post-paid’ and ‘both’ (Pre-
Greek market we have categorized them to the paid and Post-paid).
following 5 columns: ‘Nokia’, ‘Sony-Ericsson’,
‘Siemens’, ‘Panasonic’ and ‘Other’.
Pre-paid (card) Post-paid Both
Figure 7: Payment model preferences.
Figure 6: Mobile brand name preferences. According to the results, although the
major percentage of the participants prefers the pre-
According to iDATE’s statistics [Antoine paid payment type it is interesting to note that
P. et al., 2005], Nokia dominated the mobile women prefer to make use of the post-paid model
terminals market in 2004 grabbing the 32,2% of the (54,64%), while most men prefer the pre-paid one
total market share. In our survey, Nokia is, also, the (50,53%). We should, additionally, mention that
preferred manufacturer among the participants 12,23% of all participants makes use of both
independently of their gender; 39,34% of women payment models,
and 32,63% of men hold a Nokia mobile phone. Given their social profile, the young,
entertainment-focused and Internet-friendly prepaid
126.96.36.199 Payment Model customers are often more suited for new
multimedia services than the less price-sensitive
The mobile industry provides two distinct but time-poor contract users. However, new
types of service provider-customer relationships: services such as GPRS, MMS, and i-mode are not
low commitment relationship (prepaid) yet commonly offered to pre-paid customers.
high commitment relationship (post-paid)
These two categories of contractual 188.8.131.52 Mobile Usage Type
obligations allow distinguishing two groups of
customers who may potentially develop different In this subsection we examine the
perceptions of mobile services. Given that both preferable mobile usage among the participants.
forms of relationships are currently widely utilized, The usage is categorized according to the most
it is important to understand the differences in generic possible way. Thus, the 3 available choices
customer behaviors between these two groups. for the participants are: ‘Personal’, ‘Work’, ‘Both’
Though initially the industry introduced only the (Personal and Work).
post-paid payment method, prepaid services
became widely popular in recent years. By the end
Personal Work Both
Usefulness Speed Ease of use Other
Figure 8: Mobile usage preferences.
A total of 61,15% of the participants use Figure 9: Main factors for service accessibility.
their mobile phone only for personal scope
(communicating with friends and family, As the figure depicts, men are more
entertainment etc), while 34,53% of them use the interested (41.05%) in the speed of the service,
mobile phone for both personal and work scope. while most women (44,81%) seem to believe that
67,76% of women use their phone only for the most important factor in service accessibility is
personal scope on the contrary to men, where the the ‘ease of use’ of the service. As for ‘usefulness’,
relevant percentage is much lower (48,42%). In almost 1 out of 5 participants (18,71%) claims that
addition, according to the results, the distribution in this is the main factor providing best possible
the scope of mobile usage is quite even in men access to mobile services.
participants (48,42% against 46,32%).
184.108.40.206 Main Factor for adopting multimedia
3.2.2 Specific Queries services
220.127.116.11 Service Accessibility The industry hasn’t yet figured out how
best to bill for multimedia services, the variety and
From a theoretical point of view, adoption complexity of which continue to increase.
studies of mobile end-user services focus on Operators use a variety of charging models for new
describing and explaining adoption processes at the services, which are often driven by operator-
individual adopter level. Some descriptive studies specific technological constraints. The charging
focus on the decision to adopt mobile services only approaches used for access (i.e. GPRS) and
[Green N. et al., 2001], while other studies also services (e.g. MMS) include per event, per data
investigate the attitudes towards using mobile volume, per minute, flat rate, as well as
services as use is habituated [Palen L. et al., 2001]. subscriptions or bundles of services. This deluge of
Service accessibility appears to be one of pricing plans and options serves to create excessive
the most important issues affecting the adoption of confusion for consumers.
current and future mobile services. The most In order to investigate the users’ point of
crucial factors related to service accessibility (for view towards the most significant factor concerning
both manufacturers and users) are examined in this the adoption of multimedia services we have asked
subsection. The participants were asked to choose the users to choose among the next 4 factors:
one of the provided factors: ‘Usefulness’, ‘Speed’, ‘Lower cost of terminals’, Simplification of
‘Ease of use’ and ‘Other’. charging models’, ‘Lower prices of services’ or any
40 Men 25
30 Women 20
Lower cost of
Digital Hard Voting Ticketing Other
Figure 11: Most used content via a mobile phone.
Figure 10: Main factors for multimedia services’
adoption. As the figure depicts, digital goods is the
preferred and most used content type among men
A remarkable note coming out of this participants (35,79%), while most women (28,42%)
figure is that 55,76% of the participants thinks that seem to prefer buying hard goods via their mobile.
the main factor for adopting multimedia services is It is however, worth mentioning, that 26,62% of all
the lower prices of the services. While only 35,61% participants have widely used some other service
of the participants have used 2.5G or 3G services than those mentioned in the questionnaire. This is
the pricing (either of devices or of services) is seen quite reasonable, as mobile service providers have
as the most influential problem of past and present displayed too many new value-added services over
mobile services [Aarnio A. et al., 2002]. It is, the last few years (games, dating, news etc.).
especially, seen to prevent consumers from even
trying some new services. 18.104.22.168 Mobile Service Preference
The latter remark is related to the current
status of the Greek mobile services market, where A, really, interested area concerning both
Cosmote (the exclusive provider of i-mode in the users’ satisfaction factor and the operators’
Greece) is continually lowering the prices of i- potential for developing new services is the
mode service, as the subscribers’ interest seems to preference the consumers show in certain services.
be quite low. Thus, in this subsection we investigate these
An underestimated factor that still worries participants’ preferences towards some of the most
mobile users towards acceptance of newer and widespread value-added services: ‘Wireless
advanced multimedia services is charging Internet access’, ‘Download digital goods’,
simplicity. According to our results, 14,39% of all Location based services’, ‘News-Information’,
surveyed consumers indicated that the simplicity of ‘Shopping’. On the contrary to the previous
the charging model is very important in their subsection, in this question we have asked the
purchasing decision. This finding is in accordance participants to choose one of the services they
with a similar survey showing that 14% of the would like to use in the future (as most the
participants between 18-24 find mobile offers and appearing services have just entered Greek market).
tariffs complex [Aafjes M. Et al., 2004].
22.214.171.124 Content Type Usage 35
In this subsection, we asked the 20 Men
participants to choose the content type that they 15 Women
have used/purchased most of the times. The 5
available fields to choose from where: ‘Digital 0
goods, ‘Hard goods, ‘Voting’, ‘Ticketing’ and
Figure 12: Preferable mobile services.
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Notes, vol. 26 (6), November 2001
The main questions forming the questionnaire that was used for our survey are quoted here:
Α) Male Β) Female
2) How many mobile phones do you have?
Α) More than 3 Β) 3 C) 2 D) 1 Ε) None
3) You use your mobile for:
Α) Personal communication Β) Work C) Both
4) What is the brand of your mobile phone (if you have more than one, check the one you prefer)?
Α) Nokia B) Sony-Ericsson C) Siemens D) Panasonic E) Other
5) Who is the mobile provider you are subscribed to?
Α) Cosmote Β) Vodafone C) TIM D) Q-Telecom
6) Are you a contract subscriber or a prepaid subscriber?
Α) Pre-paid (Card) Β) Post-paid (Contract) C) Both
7) Have you ever used 2.5G services (i-mode, GPRS etc) or 3G services (MobileTV etc)?
Α) Yes Β) No
8) Are you a computer user?
Α) Yes Β) No
9) Do you have Internet access?
Α) Yes Β) No
10) What is the kind of service that you would like to use most?
Α) Wireless Internet access (via mobile)
Β) Downloading digital goods (ringtones, logos, games, gambling etc)
C) Location based services (traffic information, maps etc)
D) News-Information (athletics, financial, horoscope, weather etc)
Ε) Shopping (price information and comparisons, commercials etc)
11) Which one of the followings have you paid to use or to buy or to download the most times?
Α) Digital goods (mp3, ringtones, java, games etc) Β) Hard goods (books, CDs etc)
C) Voting D) Buying tickets E) Other
12) In your opinion, what is the crucial factor for the mobile operators in order to raise the
accessibility in mobile services?
Α) Usefulness Β) Speed C) Ease of use D) Other
13) In your opinion, what is the crucial factor for the mobile operators in order to accelerate the
adoption of multimedia services from the users?
Α) Lower cost of terminals Β) Simplification of charging models
C) Lower price of services D) Other