Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

Effect of Mobile Number Portability Adoption on Consumer Switching Intention

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

Effect of Mobile Number Portability Adoption on Consumer Switching Intention

Article excerpt

Abstract

The paper proposes a model that helps to explain consumer behaviour towards Mobile Number Portability (MNP) policy and the influence of MNP adoption factors on consumer switching intention process in the telecommunication industry. The proposed model was tested using data from a cross-section of 736 subscribers of six global companies in Ghana's mobile telecommunication industry, where MNP has been introduced. The findings indicate that MNP adoption can positively influence consumer switching. The effects of MNP adoption on switching intention is realised through three main channels; directly through MNP-induced self-efficacy (or switching efficacy) and indirectly through perceived switching costs and attitude towards switching. The proposed model helps explain about 50% of switching intention. The paper discusses implications of the findings to marketing theory and practice and provides directions for future research. The paper advances our knowledge in the impact of government/industrial policy on consumer behaviour in marketing.

Keywords: mobile number portability policy, consumer behaviour, porting, switching behaviour, telecommunication service

1. Introduction

The mobile telecommunication industry, globally, has seen a lot of innovations such as the integration of global positioning systems, mobile internet facilities, mobile money and mobile payment facilities, mobile number portability (MNP) policy adoption and implementation, among others. Among the innovations, the MNP appears to be the latest in many developing countries across Africa and the Middle East. The MNP innovation allows mobile subscribers to retain their mobile SIM numbers while changing to use other service providers such as voice calls. MNP facility is intended to enable effective service delivery and provide consumers considerable freedom to switch between and among service providers in an attempt to increase consumer empowerment (Buehler & Haucap, 2004; Lin, Chlamtac, & Yu, 2003; Reinke, 1998).

Thus, to the subscriber, MNP means to have the freedom to switch between and among the many service providers for telecom services. According to the National Communiications Authority report (NCA, 2011, p. 15), in Ghana the adoption of MNP

"... requires new modes of thinking and operation across the industry as each new porting request involves a customer, a recipient network, a donor network, a central service provider, and all other networks which must route traffic correctly after the port is completed. This is far more complex than a simple interaction between one network and its customers."

Therefore, the adoption of MNP by consumers will have important implications for marketing theory and practice in consumer behaviour areas such as switching behaviour.

The problem addressed in this study is two-fold. The first is the need to theoretically understand how MNP adoption factors can positively influence consumer behaviour, and second, is the need to provide practitioners with empirical knowledge for strategic management of MNP policy implementation in mobile telecom industry, especially in emerging country contexts. Theoretically, although consumer adoption has been extensively studied in B2C and B2B contexts (e.g., Hoehle, Scornavacca, & Huff, 2012; Legris, Ingham, & Collerette, 2004; Prins, Verhoef, & Franses, 2009; Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003; Venkatesh, Thong, James, & Xu, 2012), relatively little research work has been done in the area of adoption of MNP innovation (e.g., Buehler & Haucap, 2004; Lin, Chlamtac, & Yu, 2003; Reinke, 1998). Moreover, in spite of the growing importance of MNP policy implementation in many emerging economies in Asia, Africa and South America, very few studies have examined only the perceptions of consumers about MNP policy in the mobile telecommunication industry in the African emerging economies contexts (e.g., Abdramon, & Mejabi, 2012; Larkotey, Ansong, Damoah, & Abandoh-Sam, 2012; Odunaike, 2010; Tiamiyu & Mejabi, 2012). …

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