2014: MCA Business Perceptions Survey - Electronic Communications - Overall

The MCA has today published the results of a survey it carried out between November and December 2014, in order to explore perceptions of the business community by gathering qualitative information on electronic communications services in Malta. To capture these perceptions a number of variables have been analysed, namely the level of satisfaction, price sensitivities, service levels and areas of concern among the business community. 

The sample size of 413 net respondents was representatively distributed across 7 predefined industries of the business sector in Malta. The interviews were carried out with businesses that have been randomly selected on the basis of this distribution. To capture more qualitative information on medium to large sized businesses and investigate high quality data services, the 10– 49 and 50+ employee categories were boosted, the results of which will be presented in a separate publication over the coming weeks.

Results show that 78% of Maltese businesses have a fixed line connection, 75% make use of broadband Internet while 57% pay for mobile phones and respective services used by its employees for work purposes. Compared to a similar survey carried out in 2012, slightly fewer businesses have a fixed line connection – 97% of which are resorting to mobile telephony. To this effect, the number of businesses using mobile phone services increased by 11 percentage points over 2012.

68% of businesses only have one fixed line connection, 27% have between 2-4 lines, while the rest have more than 5 lines. The survey also shows that 9% of businesses with a fixed line connection are subscribed to more than one operator. Interestingly, 33% of businesses with a fixed telephone connection have a prepaid subscription. This is relatively higher than the overall market statistic where only 10% of total fixed telephony connections are prepaid (MCA Statistics).

According to this survey the majority of businesses (89%) making use of mobile phones for work related matters are contract based. This contrasts significantly with the findings of the Household Consumer Survey (MCA December 2013) where only 25% of households claimed to have a mobile subscription of this type.

With regards to broadband Internet services, the survey shows that more businesses have access to the Internet when compared to the 2012 survey. In fact the number of businesses with a broadband connection increased from 64% in 2012 to 75% in 2014. On the other hand, 90% of businesses that do not have Internet access say the company does not need it. 9% say they do not know how to use the computer or the Internet. No financial considerations have been mentioned by businesses for not having a broadband connection. The majority of businesses (40%) that do not have a broadband Internet connection fall within the wholesale, retail and transport industry, followed up by 20% that fall within the Personal Services industry and 14% that belong to the construction industry. As expected only 3% of businesses that do not have broadband access belong to the business services industry.

Interestingly, results from the survey show that more businesses today procure their telecom services as a bundle. The number of businesses subscribed to a bundle increased from 18% in 2012 to 47% to 2014. The majority of these businesses (55%) perceive the price to be reasonable.

On the other hand, 49% of businesses that procure fixed telephony as a standalone perceive prices to be reasonable. Only 6% argue that it is expensive, with the remaining business respondents being quite indifferent to the issue. 54% of businesses that procure mobile telephony as a standalone perceive prices to be reasonable – a significant improvement compared to 34% registered in 2012.

The survey indicates that the overall quality satisfaction levels have increased over 2012 with respect to fixed telephony and mobile. Satisfaction levels remained the same with regards to broadband Internet.

It also emerges from the survey that the number of businesses that have experienced Internet connection problems during the last 12 months increased from 38% in 2012 to 51% in 2014. Moreover, only 35% of these businesses claim not to have been impacted when the company experienced Internet connection problems. Results however also show that 58% of those experiencing Internet connection problems are satisfied with the way such problems had been addressed.  

View Survey Results

MCA Reference: