What drives millennials to switch mobile carriers?

Cheryl Kar
July 09, 2021, 6:15 AM UTC

Better coverage or technical and customer support are not the only issues driving American and British Millennials to switch mobile carriers. While some operators in the US have taken the initiative to encourage their consumers to get vaccinated and win accessories, are these enough when targeting millennials? New research from YouGov Profiles indicates that in both markets, millennials (consumers born between 1982-1999) are looking for something more. 

What motivates millennials to switch mobile carriers? 

American Millennials who have switched mobile carriers in the past twelve months say that the lower cost of services has been the primary reason for their move, while network quality comes second (31%). While marketers have been offering handsets to retain consumers, our data indicates that only 14% of American Millennials say that the availability of a specific handset on a specific carrier drove their decision to switch.

When asked about what the key factor is when choosing a mobile phone operator, more than half of the British Millennials (53%) say that it is the cheapest prices overall. Only two in five (40%) say that the coverage quality was an important factor, while roughly a quarter (23%) put emphasis on customer service. 

Which advertising channel grabs the attention of US millennials who are likely to change mobile carriers? 

Half of the American Millennials (50%) who are likely to change mobile carriers in the next twelve months say that TV advertisements grab their attention the most, which is 9 percentage point above Nat Rep (42%). But it’s not just TV ads that are at play here as nearly half (47%) of the group also believes that online advertisements on apps, social networks and websites also play a significant role in grabbing their attention. When considering the same group, direct mail (19%), billboards (18%) and printed magazines (17%) score the lowest among all other advertisement channels.

As 5G continues to roll out across both markets, it’s possible that we’ll see shifts in these factors. But for now, price continues to drive churn. 

Receive monthly topical insights about the telco industry, straight to your inbox. Sign up today.  

Discover more telco content here. 

Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. YouGov Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about YouGov Profiles