Telecommunications is the second-worst rated sector after Utilities. Its score has not changed much since last year. It was driven down mainly by the prices of services and a worse performance in the time and effort pillar. Only Vodafone featured in the Top 100 brands in the sector.
In the future, the main issue in the industry will be the expected development of 5G networks. Currently, 5G technology is being tested in certain locations in the Czech Republic. Operators are also striving to improve networks in places where the availability of mobile signals and data has hitherto been limited, such as in the Prague metro tunnels.
Vodafone leads the sector rankings, defending its number one position from 2019. It was the only firm in the sector to fight its way to the Top 100 brands overall. At Vodafone, customers especially like the empathetic approach of employees and have a favourable opinion of its customer helpline. Further confirmation comes in the form of hard data showing Vodafone’s significant lead in the empathy pillar: “I called Vodafone. The operator was very kind, and because I had and knew my passwords, she was sympathetic and ready to lend a hand. I won’t hear a word against Vodafone.” (Woman, 70)
Improving by 39 places, T-Mobile moved up in the overall rankings, getting closer to the Top 100. In its response to COVID-19, the company even surpassed Vodafone, the sector leader. It is clear from their comments that customers appreciate being offered phone contracts with real advantages for them. They also value the extra benefits for long-term clients and fairness: “At the branch, I wanted to cancel prepaid services, because I don’t use them. After looking at my records, the assistant told me that the fixed contract payments definitely wouldn’t be worth it and set up a prepaid card for me. All credit to them. I’m pleased with it.” (Woman, 70)
“The last time I signed up for internet data for free, it was for the period until the end of April. But I didn’t get the bill beforehand so couldn’t pay. T-Mobile sent me a reminder with a penalty, and when I complained, they apologized. To make up for it, they waived two monthly payments.” (Man, 67)
“I needed to extend the contract with T-Mobile, but the package I’d signed up for was no longer available, so we agreed on an even better one. It cost CZK 20 more, but on the other hand, I’ve more data. It’s super!!” (Woman, 31)
UPC: “When installing the modem for the internet, the technician was incredibly helpful, explaining what goes where, etc. He even handed me the contract through the window when the door lock got stuck. A very positive experience.” (Man, 19)
Vodafone: “A good deal for the family, and the lady who helped me switch to them was very nice. She was obliging with everything.” (Woman, 33)
During the pandemic, the telecommunications market strengthened. People learned to communicate increasingly remotely, both with their families and at work. Home entertainment online has also enjoyed a boom. According to research carried out by KPMG in May 2020, many households started using telecommunications services more than before the crisis, and the study predicts that they will continue doing so in the future. During the lockdown, some households experienced data network overloads but were happy that they could connect at all and function remotely.
Of the specific steps that telecommunications operators took, customers acknowledged the unlimited data services the most. Senior citizens primarily valued unlimited calls: “I live in Plzeň and have relatives in South Bohemia who look after my 92-year-old mother. Now I can’t go and see her in the pandemic (I’m 70). So unlimited calls on the Vodafone network help us a lot.” (Woman, 70)
“O2 activated unlimited data for me for free during the lockdown, i.e. until the end of April. Everything went well.” (Woman, 69).