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Which wireless suppliers are the Canadians most satisfied with?

The Canadians mostly care about connection with their wireless network providers, according to a new report by J.D. Power.

2019 Wireless Network Quality Study looked at Canada's wireless operators and asked Canadians their level of satisfaction, as well as their concerns. Taking into account three areas of influence: communications, messages and data connections.

"Computer problems continue to drive the numbers we see and that's where most problems are experienced," says Adrian Chung of J.D. Power. "It switches from call quality that missed calls or lacks a voice mailbox, which was once challenged. Now it's really around data and connectivity, and without it, people do crazy things."

Chung says overall network quality continues to improve, at least during this study, and there is a "differentiated point between the different regions, so there is consistent performance from a network point of view," he adds.

Telus Mobility was ranked highest across the board in both Eastern and Western regions as well as in Ontario. Bell Mobility came in second, bound with Bell MTS and SaskTel in the west, and bound with Videotron in the east. The study measured problems per 100 connections (PP100), with feedback from 13,900 respondents in February and March 2019.

J. D. Power polled on "virtual operators" such as Koodo, Fido and Virgin Mobile, but these were not rated qualified because they do not have their own network (rather piggyback their parent companies).

Telus had the smallest problems reported by its customers per 100 interactions, and while the network quality generally got a good class, Chung notes that consumer expectations are based on promises. Do people understand if they are at 4G LTE or not? How about when 5G rolls out?

"With consumer perceptions, we don't even know or are lost in some cases," Chung explains. "When people talk 5G, it's about making promises. Carriers make promises and put expectations that can be difficult for a consumer to actually measure. How fast is fast?"

It should not come as a shock that younger Canadians (Gen X, Y, Z) are larger data dogs than older generations (Pre-Boomers and Boomers), or perhaps the number of apps used has almost doubled with each generation through Gen Y, according to JD Power's result.

Gen Z customers sent and received on average more than 90 text messages within a recent 48-hour thrill, compared to 12 text messages sent and received by Pre-Boomers. The most common applications used by Gen Y and Gen Z were instant messaging (72 percent vs. 78 percent), social networks (70 percent vs. 75 percent), listening to music (65 percent vs. 81 percent), and mobile payments (43 percent against 46 percent).

As far as Gen Z customers are concerned, 13 percent data rates are higher than expected, followed by Gen Y (9 percent), Gen X (7 percent), Boomers (7 percent), and Pre-Boomers (2 percent). Improved technology and better hardware are factors to consider with this satisfaction.

The prize also played a role in satisfaction: 40 percent of Gen Z customers quoted the prize as the main reason for ending a relationship with a carrier. Gen Y and Gen Z customers valued wireless vendors reliability lower even when compared to other generations.

"Lower network quality ratings are more likely to change carriers," says Chung.

J. D. Power defines generation groups as Pre-Boomers (born before 1946), Boomers (1946-1964), Gen X (1965-1976), Gen Y (1977-1994) and Gen Z (1995-2004).

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