Mobile Operators Need New Metrics to Assess Customer Churn, Pyramid Research Finds

Apr 15, 2010

As mobile customer retention remains a key focus in both developed and emerging markets, operators should assess the value of churn within the context of key segments, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (

Mobile Customer Churn: Why It Matters Less in Some Emerging Markets looks at the value of churn as an indicator and analyzes the strength in the value between emerging markets, such as Africa and Asia, and that of other countries. This 16-page report looks at the development of churn rates in highly prepaid markets in Africa and developing Asia. Four case studies examine Vodacom Tanzania, Idea Cellular, Banglalink, and Vodacom South Africa. Download an excerpt of this report here:

"Churn rates have been an important performance indicator in the wireless industry; some operators believe its value has lessened in recent years, given changing market dynamics, such as the high incidence of multi-SIM ownership and the provision of free SIMs and airtime," says Jan ten Sythoff, analyst-at-large for Pyramid Research. "For example, the main trend for churn rates in developing prepaid markets, such as many in Africa and Asia, is upward, driven predominantly by the arrival of new entrants. In other countries, by contrast, market maturity, competitive stability and improved subscription management is bringing churn rates down."

"For churn to continue to remain relevant, it needs to be reprioritized within organizations and it should not be discarded as an indicator altogether," ten Sythoff explains. "Intense levels of competition do mean that its priority should be lowered, but this is likely to be a temporary situation as markets mature and consolidate. Moreover, churn remains a key parameter of a subscription's overall lifetime value when tracking high-value segments, particularly when high subsidies are involved in order to acquire the customer, as well as in the evaluation of services and pricing options for operators."

Mobile Customer Churn: Why It Matters Less in Some Emerging Markets is part of Pyramid Research's Asia/Pacific Telecom Insider report series. Download an excerpt of the report here:

This report is priced at $595 and can be purchased online at or by contacting us at

About Pyramid Research

Pyramid Research ( offers practical solutions to the complex demands our clients face in the telecommunications, media and technology industries. Our analysis is uniquely positioned at the intersection of emerging markets, emerging technologies and emerging business models, powered by the bottom-up methodology of our market forecasts for over 100 countries. As the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network, Pyramid Research works with Heavy Reading, providing the communications industry's most comprehensive market data, trusted research and insightful technology analysis.

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