EVALUATING SUBSCRIBERS PREFERENCE FOR SERVICE ATTRIBUTES OF MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION IN NIGERIA USING ANALYTIC HIERARCHY PROCESS (AHP)
Policy and strategies in the growing Nigerian telecommunications industry can only have significant impact if they are substantially driven by research on what subscribers prefer and why they prefer it? Thus, there is a need for an operations research model (AHP) to evaluate customer preferences for their mobile telecommunications attributes in order to direct policy and strategies toward what is important to subscribers. This paper built a hierarchical model for choice/determinant of subscriber’s preferences for mobile telecommunications attributes in Nigeria using seven main attributes as the criteria for evaluation. The four main players in the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) market (MTN, Airtel, Glo and Etisalat) are the alternatives. An AHP based questionnaire was administered among students of tertiary institutions in Lagos. Out of the four hundred questionnaires distributed, three hundred and eighty six were completed, returned and found suitable for the analysis. The data was analysed, considering the set of evaluation criteria (service attributes), and a set of alternative (network providers) scenarios from which the best decision was to be made. We generated a weight for each evaluation criterion and scenario according to the information provided by the decision makers (stakeholders). AHP was used to combine the objective and scenario evaluations to determine the ranking for scenarios. The results revealed that an average student preferred network providers with low rates (affordable), followed by quality of connections and a reliable data plan for internet service. A priority was done for the criteria to direct strategic decisions in the telecommunication industry towards meeting subscriber’s needs. Coverage was not given significant priority as the respondents assumed that all providers have similar coverage. The results of this study will help improve the quality of decision making by stakeholders.
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