Throughout The Centuries, Human
Throughout the centuries, human communications have been gradually developing at a remarkable pace. As of recent, and after the inventions of the telephones, telegraphs and radios, the internet came as a major innovation and significantly transformed how the world communicates (Campbell-Kelly and Garcia-Swartz, 2013). Nowadays, the exchange of information between people, regardless of the differences of their geographic locations, is ready at a click. This breakthrough in technology came as a testament of how the once-impossible aspirations can become a reality with committed development and research on information infrastructure, and that includes any other field that could potentially change our lives forever. Moreover, such technological capability would not have come through has it not been through the hard work of various parties: starting from the government, to private investors and academic scholars, who were committed to ensure that the internet service provided to the population is functioning accordingly, and would ultimately result in the betterment of the societies through their access to information, as well as facilitated telecommunications.
Among those who are tasked to carry the responsibility of delivering such access to the population in a given geographical region, are the internet service providers. Those particular providers have been placed at the forefront of service provision, and are constantly implementing certain measures to ensure the quality improvement of their provided services (Piskorski, 2014). In many cases, the government is responsible for setting the regulations regarding the number of internet service providers in a given region. Although, some cases exist were a government agency would govern the telecommunication services, and on the other hand, we have cases where there is more freedom regarding the distribution of these services by their companies. The latter case being ours in this study, where 90% of the internet services in the United Arab Emirates are provided by two particular companies: Du and Etisalat.
In this study, we aim at testing the quality of these provided internet services by comparing the level of satisfaction between the customers of both companies. Background
Established in 2003, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has worked on supervising the telecommunications in the United Arab Emirates, mainly to ensure the elimination of any monopolization in the industry (Soomro and Asfandyar, 2010). Although Etisalat has been the only telecommunications and telephone provider in the UAE, from all the way back in 1976, and majorly covered the country, this monopolization of personal and business communications services ceased by 2006, when Du was established and the industry became a duopoly. What Du provided was mobile and television services, as well as internet services to the free zones (Kovacs, 2014). However, the two companies functioned as independent monopolies since they basically operated independently in different areas, and provided to different consumer bases.
It is worth mentioning that Du used its legal name Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company to provide their customers in the free zones triple play services. Furthermore, the notable constant growth of the UAE population provides a significant challenge for the two companies, as well as a crucial role in influencing the provided internet services. These companies must ensure that the quality of their services provided to their established users is reputable enough to attract the newcomers, and thus gain more customers. What marks all the difference between these services can be measured by how the consumers respond to them. The companies must take into their consideration the complaints and requirements of their users to ensure their satisfaction and continued loyalty. It is known that the two companies operate with different consumer bases and thus some degree of differences in the results is expected. The differences between the level of satisfactions out of the provided internet services, their suitability, and consequent response of these users, are what shall indicate the companyâ€™s ultimate success.
According to the study of Danaher and Chong (2014), there are about 30,000 autonomous systems available on the internet, making it a working system involving various web access suppliers on a worldwide scale. These suppliers are the ones who are responsible in ensuring that they accomplish superiority by using different types of strategies and procedures to guarantee that an ever-increasing number of customers are part of the services (Campbell-Kelly and Garcia-Swartz, 2013). Customer satisfaction for the web providers include fundamental components of service quality such as managing various customersâ€™ issues.
We have a few studies suggesting that service quality among different firms which provide internet and data packages, is substantial to mastermind operational and governing practices with efficient networking processes (Al-Khouri, et al., 2014). It is significant that these firms are aware of the service quality being provided within a provided network that allows providers to develop a specific market by differentiating themselves based on consumer knowledge and information (Erevelles, et al., 2003). Customer service is another characteristic that is considered as an arrangement of exercises that incorporate simplicity of detailing, handling and speed of customer complaints and friendliness at the time of reported complaint (Kim, Park & Jeong, 2004). According to Sabir, R, et al.,(2013) service network failure impacts customer complaint behavior by majorly influencing them to switch to another provider which affects customer loyalty.
In addition, price is also a major affecting factor concerning the internet providers (Kollmann, 2000) that comprises of paying for the network access as well as the expenses of keeping up the loyalty with the service providers. With consumers buying into the service, if they are well-satisfied with the offered service, then they are not expected to become sensitive to prices.
Customer loyalty in the telecommunications industry also plays a major role in the behavior of the customer. For example, a loyal client will want to remain with the same provider or even subscribe for more services. Furthermore, if theyâ€™re loyal, thereâ€™s a greater chance of them referring the provider to their social circle (Chen, A, et al., 2014). Problem statement
The main issue that this research will seek to address is the quality of internet services provided in the UAE. This will be achieved by collecting information relating to the two leading communication companies; Etisalat and Du. It is important to gain the perspective of the consumers in order to determine their level of satisfaction and how this impacts their connection to other people in the world. It would also function to determine how internet access influences businesses in the society and world in general. Based on this information, this research will function to assess and outline the quality of internet services provided in the country based on the perspective of the customers.
In the United Arab Emirates, the internet services quality impacts almost everyone. This is mainly due to the fact that many depend on this service for their communication with others from various parts of the world. With the government pushing for the provision of better services, it has become necessary for these two companies to apply suitable measures towards providing better services for their users. As such, the feedback from customers will help in understanding whether the efforts of these companies have been successful in accomplishing their goal.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the quality of internet services provided by Etisalat and Du based on responses from their customers. A comparison between the two companies will help to determine the best service for the country and the difference in the quality of services that they provide.
Significance of the study
This study will be beneficial to both Etisalat and Du companies because it will enable them to improve the quality of services that they provide to their customers. Additionally, it would benefit the general population as they would be able to have better internet services. Based on the data that has been collected, there is an expected significant gap of information relating to the perception of consumers with regards to the quality of internet services.
1. Null Hypothesis: There is no difference between the quality of services provided by Etisalat and Du.
2. Alternative hypothesis: There is a significant difference between the quality of services provided by Etisalat and Du.
3. Null Hypothesis: The quality of services is not affected by the number of current subscribers covered by the telecommunication service.
4. Alternative hypothesis: the quality of services is affected by the number of current subscribers covered by the telecommunication service.
Assumptions and Limitations
The research will be based on some significant assumptions: first, we do assume that all those individuals taking the questionnaire are the legal citizens of the UAE, and thus their feedback is critical to the future of the ICT industry in the state. Second, we shall assume that those individuals can only choose one from both internet service companies, not both. Moreover, our main limitation being the disinterest or lack of enough collaboration from some interviewed individuals, we must expect and take into consideration how time consuming this study could be. Methodology
This research will be carried out across all the emirates, to include at least 200 answered surveys of both personal internet user and businesses. Fifteen participants will be charged with carrying out the collection of the acquired data, and the distribution would be as follows: within the set period of 4 months, 3 short questionnaires would be provided through random methods in a given region, to ensure responsesâ€™ diversity. As for businesses, we shall request their permission in collecting their internet usage data.
moreover, a formal letter will be attached with the questionnaires, requesting the participantsâ€™ permission to collect their responses for this study. thus, we expect some reluctance with such consent, and shall collect only the approved forms.
Through these surveys we plan on evaluating the following: the range of services provided, the pricing structures and their suitability, the overall satisfaction of the internet service quality provided for at each set plan, and customer service rating,
Through this method, we do aim at a sufficient coverage of the state; as the more data we collect the better our acquired perception would be regarding the costumersâ€™ feedback.
Furthermore, these questionnaires shall be distributed with the assistance of the required authorities, as we believe that they do influence the UAEâ€™s foreseeable future.
We aim at gathering enough significant data in order to provide the TRA with valuable information regarding the ICT environment and ensuring the improvement of the internet services quality. It is believed that both companies should aspire and work towards meeting the UAEâ€™s required standards for the betterment of the community. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate these companiesâ€™ current efforts through their customersâ€™ feedback.
In conclusion, it is anticipated that the results from this study will highlight the differences in the quality of internet services provided by Etisalat and Du. This would be beneficial in evaluating the current status of internet services in the United Arab Emirates and assessing whether there are suitable solutions to improving the quality of internet services in the country. Eventually, the results of this study would benefit the entire population and all businesses, as they will be provided with better services. In addition to that, it would help the regulatory authorities to establish significant regulations relating to the provision of internet services. References
Al-Khouri, A. M., Farmer, M., & Qadri, J. (2014). A government framework to address identity, trust and security in e-government: The Case of UAE Identity Management Infrastructure. European Scientific Journal, 10(10).
Campbell-Kelly, M., & Garcia-Swartz, D. D. (2013). The history of the internet: the missing narratives. Journal of Information Technology, 28(1), 18-33.
Danaher, M., & Chong, C. J. (2014). User Concerns on Cloud Securityâ€“A UAE Perspective. International Journal of Computer and Information Technology, 3(6), 1264-1269.
Kovacs, J. R. (2014). Economic and legal analysis of the United Arab Emiratesâ€™ telecommunications market (Doctoral dissertation, Central European University).
Piskorski, M. J. (2013). Finn Brunton: Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet. Administrative Science Quarterly, 0001839213518029.
Rodrigues, G., Sarabdeen, J., & Balasubramanian, S. (2016). Factors that Influence Consumer Adoption of E-government Services in the UAE: A UTAUT Model Perspective. Journal of Internet Commerce, 15(1), 18-39.
Soomro, T. R., & Asfandyar, D. (2010). Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): UAE Perspectives. Asian Journal of Information Technology, 9(3), 170-178.