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Consumer perception and its choice mobile telecom service provider in Malaysia.
Article Type:
Industry overview
Subject:
Consumer preferences (Analysis)
Telecommunications services industry (Growth)
Telecommunications services industry (Industry forecasts)
Telecommunications services industry (Customer relations)
Telecommunications services industry (Services)
Communications industry (Growth)
Communications industry (Industry forecasts)
Communications industry (Customer relations)
Communications industry (Services)
Consumer behavior (Analysis)
Authors:
Haque, Ahasanul
Khatibi, Ali
Raquib, Abdur
Al Mahmud, Shameem
Pub Date:
05/01/2007
Publication:
Name: Journal of International Business and Economics Publisher: International Academy of Business and Economics Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Business, international; Computers Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2007 International Academy of Business and Economics ISSN: 1544-8037
Issue:
Date: May, 2007 Source Volume: 7 Source Issue: 2
Topic:
Event Code: 010 Forecasts, trends, outlooks; 240 Marketing procedures; 360 Services information Canadian Subject Form: Consumer behaviour Computer Subject: Telecommunications services industry; Company growth
Product:
Product Code: 4800000 Communications; 9914412 Consumer Behavior NAICS Code: 513 Broadcasting and Telecommunications SIC Code: 4810 Telephone Communication
Geographic:
Geographic Scope: Malaysia Geographic Code: 9MALA Malaysia

Accession Number:
178945898
Full Text:
ABSTRACT

The growth rate in the Malaysian telecommunication sector had been affected badly over the last decade by economic crisis of the late 1990's. Thereafter, it was potential for exponential market growth attracted new players to this business, which turns lead competition to dramatically increases. Nowadays they are trying to attract customer by offering aggressive price promotion. As competition is increasing among the companies, it is necessary for them to know about the consumers' perception about the price, promotion, product and the other important factors that are playing a vital role to choose the telecommunication service providers. This study aims to find out what are critical factors those are playing an important role to select the telecommunication service provider. Result provides a comprehensive analysis of the important factors for playing an important role for the customer to select the telecommunication service provider. The analysis confirms the significant positive relationship of price, service quality, product quality and availability, and promotional offer for consumer perception. These factors are expected to have a great role during the time to choose telecommunication service provider. In conclusion, practitioners can be deriving a better understanding of the activities that are being played a vital role for the consumer perception.

Key words: Customer Perception, customer choice, telecom service provider, Malaysia

1. INTRODUCTION

The advent of computer based communication technologies and communication network have become and important factor in global interaction. Telephone, for examples, provides the basic connection for social interaction between individuals and the linkages both within and among nations. Deutsch (1953) mentioned this as "a web of nations". Today's the development of communication technology ignores the global border and makes world "global village" (McLuhan, 1964). This reform of the communication technology since been expanded to include the transformation of the traditional voice telecom network into an expanded and enhanced information infrastructure, which is capable of communicating all forms of information content (Melody, 2003).

The telecommunication system has become the electronic infrastructure for transmitting the all kinds of information, for instant, voice, data, graphics, video, music. It is a rapidly growing medium of communication all over the world. Since, currently telecommunication sector is experiencing phenomenal global change with the liberalization and privatization of the sector, which also opens the competition (Beard and Hartmann, 1999). It opens the opportunities for the consumers to enjoy the choice among the service providers. Now days, due to the competition, the telecommunication service providers offers innovative services as well as competitive prices also. The nature of the competition today in the global telecommunications industry seems to centre on market activities that aim at gaining competitive advantages through strategic combinations of resources and presences in multiple products and geographical areas (Chan-Olmsted and Jamison, 2001). The success of telecommunication industry depends on the efforts and investments. In a competitive market, service providers are expected to compete on both price and quality of services and also it is necessary for the service providers to meet the consumers' requirements and expectations in price and service quality (Melody, 2001).

Conversely, telecommunication industry in Malaysia is the fastest growing sector, especially the mobile market. This development has become a catalyst for the growth of the nation's commercial and industrial sectors. This telecommunication sector contributed much to the nation's economic development. The growth rate in the use of telecommunication facilities has increased tremendously, especially in the increasing number of telephone subscribers. The number of telephones for every 100 persons increased from 6.5 in 1985 to 12 in 1993 (Government Report, 1995). The fixed line penetration ratio had risen to 16.6 per 100 population and 21.0 per 100 populations respectively by 1995 and 2000 (Lee, 2001). Now Government of Malaysia plan to have a telephony penetration rate of 50% for the whole country and 25% for the rural areas by year 2020 (State of Hawaii Government, 2002). In the Malaysian telecommunication background, competition can be seen as main factor among the telecommunication service provider companies. Companies like Sapura Digital Sdn. Bhd., Celcom and Mobikom Berhad have been seen their company either being merged with bigger and more competitive companies or gone bankruptcy. Only Telekom Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., with its TM Touch services has managed to maintain its presence in the industry. Today, there are three major companies namely Celcom, Digi and Maxis. These three companies known as service providers cover the following segments of the Malaysian telecommunication market traditional telecommunications, IP services, Wireless and mobile markets and technologies, broadband markets and technologies. They are also provided mobile services with an increasing number of value added services such as Short Message Service (SMS), Wireless Application Protocol, subscription services, General Packet Radio Services, and Third Generation. In the Malaysian telecommunication sector competition can be seen as main factor among the major mobile telecommunication service providers. To modernize and to increase telecommunications service growth rate, a competitive element was introduced in stages. The first step involved the incorporation of Telekom Malaysia in 1987 as a government-owned company. Later, new companies were licensed to provide certain services such as mobile cellular telephones, pagers, trunked radio, two-way radio system and other value-added services (Government Report, 1995).

The Malaysian population, which is our group of consumers in this study, generally expects some information about the mobile telecommunication service providers. Thus, it is important that a company recognize the need, want and also the perception of their consumers. As competition is increasing among the companies, it is necessary for them to know about the consumers' perception about the price, promotion, product, service quality and the other important factors that are playing a vital role to choose the telecommunication service providers. So, the major objective of this study is to examine the factors that affecting the consumers' perception to choice mobile telecommunication service, particularly in Malaysian context. Malaysia has among the most modern telecommunications networks in the region with fiber optic trunks in Peninsular Malaysia, satellite, VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) and ISDN (Integrated Subscriber Digital Network) services. The digitization of the network is far advanced covering about 80 percent of the transmission lines with over 96 percent of the main lines connected to the digital exchanges (Sectoral Studies Report, 1999). This physical and structural transformation has gone through during the past fifteen years. The penetration rate of telephone in Malaysia rose up 540 percent between 1985 and 2000 (Lee, 2001). Particularly, privatization and liberalization of the sector helped to reform and also increased the competition among the telecom service providers. The market structure as well as the regulatory framework and institutions for the telecommunications sector continue to evolve. Especially, the mobile market; today's this market has become extremely competitive and service providers are moving aggressively to attract customer by offering some attractive promotions and services. Therefore, in this situation, it is important to know the consumers perception about the service providers. This study is trying to explore consumer perception and their thinking about the mobile telecommunication service providers and their services.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Service Quality

The telecommunication has been part of a larger class of industries, public utilities, with similar technological, economic and public service characteristics by tradition. According to Melody (2001) public utilities is derived from the law in any country. Where the demand for a good or service is considered a common necessity for the public at large and the supply conditions are such that the public may not be provided with reasonable service at reasonable prices.

Service is a form of attitude which is related to satisfaction and also leads to consumer loyalty (Johnson and Sirikit, 2002) and future purchase. In particular consumers prefer service quality when the price and other cost elements are held constant (Boyer and Hult, 2005). It has become a distinct and important aspect of the product and service offering (Wal et al., 2002). According to Leisen and Vance (2001) service quality helps to create the necessary competitive advantage by being an effective differentiating factor. Service quality was initiated in the 1980s as the worldwide trend when marketers realized that only a quality product could not guaranteed to maintain competitive advantage (Wal et al., 2002). Competitive advantage is a value-creating strategy, simultaneously which is not implemented by any existing or potential competitors (Barney, 1991). Moreover, according to them, a competitive advantage also sustained when other companies are unable to duplicate the benefits of this strategy.

Service quality is essential and important for a telecommunication service provider company to ensure the quality service for establishing and maintaining loyal and profitable customer (Zeithaml, 2000; Leisen and Vance, 2001). Conversely, Johnson and Sirikit (2002) stated that service delivery systems have the ability to allow managers of company to identify the real customer feedback and satisfaction on their telecommunication service. Since, quality reflects the customers' expectations about a product or service. Lovelock (1996) stated that this customer driven quality replaced the traditional marketing philosophies which was based on products and process. Service quality is different from the quality of goods. Since, services are intangible, perishable, produced and consumed simultaneously and heterogeneous (Zeithaml and Bitner, 2000). So, it is a major problem for the telecommunication service providers, especially for the mobile telecommunication service providers to deliver quality service consistently. According to Wang and Lo (2002) in marketing and economics quality often depends on the level of product attributes. They also mentioned that there are two primary dimensions for quality in operation management. At first, fitness of use, which refers to product or services that is supposed to do and possess features to meet the customer needs. Another one is reliability, which represents the product that is free from deficiencies. Accordingly, it is important for a company to understand how customers perceive their service quality. Consequently, Rust and Oliver (1994) pointed out that companies need to measure consumers' satisfaction with their products and services. Generally, service and product quality is in the mind of the consumer. So, it is necessary for the mobile telecommunication service provider to talk with the consumers for measuring quality. Since, quality reflects the extent to which a product or service meets or exceeds consumers' expectations (Wal et al., 2002). Wang and Lo (2002) studied on comprehensive integrated framework for service quality, customer value, and customer satisfaction and behavior intentions of customers in China's mobile phone sector. In this study, they conceptualized factors with service quality as antecedents to customers' overall evaluation of service quality rather than dimensions or components of the construct. Herein, they found that the competition between two mobile phone service providers is more intense than ever. This competition is not only in network quality by a large amount of investment in network extension and upgrading but also in customer retention and acquisition by direct and indirect price reduction.

H1: Service quality has a significant influence on consumer perception regarding choice mobile telecommunication service provider.

2.2 Price

Price competition has become cutthroat in mobile telecommunication industry. Trebing (2001) mentioned that are two sets of strategies for pricing behavior. The first is limit entry pricing, which is used for protection of the market position of the firm; second is the high access charges for new entrants, and the third one is tie-in sales to write off old plant or standard investment against captive customers. According to him limit entry pricing involves setting low prices in highly elastic markets to attract or retain large customers with monopolistic buying power, while maintaining high prices in inelastic markets.

Price plays a vital role in telecommunication market especially for the mobile telecommunication service providers (Kollmann, 2000). It's included not only the purchase price but also the call and rental charges. Generally, a price dominated mass market leads to customers having more choice and the opportunity to compare the pricing structures of different providers. Therefore, the company that will offer lower charges, the more customers will commit themselves to the telephone networks, so more call minutes will achieved. According to Kollmann (2000) income from the number of call minutes determine the basic commercial success for the network providers. He also added that the success of the telecommunication sector in market place is depend on continuing usage and pricing policies, which need to be considered on several levels. That is right from the beginning when purchasing the end-user set. Since, a common strategy for a company extending their product or service is to differentiate their offerings vertically (Draganska and Jain, 2003).

H2: Price has a significant influence on consumer perception regarding choice mobile telecommunication service provider.

2.3 Product Quality and Availability

Consumer's perception of product quality is always an important aspect of a purchasing decision and in market behavior. Since, consumers regularly face the task of estimating product quality under conditions of imperfect knowledge about the underlying attributes of the various product offers with the aid of personal, self-perceived quality criteria (Bedeian, 1971 adapted by Sjolander, 1992). According to Sjolander (1992), the consumer behavior in modern market is different from the theoretical case of consumer decision making in free markets. Generally, free and competitive markets are composed of buyers and sellers each of whom possesses: Perfect information about all possible products and their respective utilities; A well defined and explicit set of performances; The ability to determine optimal combination of various products given their budget constraints; A knowledge of prices, which does not affect the subjective wants or satisfactions of the consumer. (Monroe and Petroshius, 1973 adapted by Sjolander, 1992).

In fact, it is necessary to define quality before it can be measured. Although, there is no global definition of quality exists (Sebastianelli and Tamimi, 2002). It can be defined in a variety of ways. Yoon and Kijewski (1997) pointed out that quality can be categorized into two perspectives. One is the marketer's perspective, which is typically product-based or manufacturing-based and another one is consumer's perspective, which is typically user-based or value-based. Generally, product quality from the marketer's perspective is associated with specific feature, function or performance of a product. On the other hand, product quality from the consumer's perspective is associated with the capacity of a product to satisfy consumer needs (Archibald et al., 1983). According to Lambert (1980) consumers often attribute quality to branded products on the basis of price, brand reputation, store image, market share, product features and country of manufacture. So, price is an indicator to measure the product quality, which is based on the theory that quality is a measure of the utility, or the want-satisfying capacity of products (Sjolander, 1992). He also added that the more quality a product possesses the more utility it contains, and the higher price it will obtain in an open market exchange. That means similar products offered to the market at different price, contain different amounts of utility, and that there is a direct relationship between quality and price. The actual price-quality relationship is a complex interaction between price, brand name, store image, product features, and brand awareness (Lambert, 1980; Gerstner, 1985).

Overall, the quality of a product is also related to the availability of the product's main functional features on one hand and the consumer's experience-in-use of the other auxiliary features on the other hand (Yoon and Kijewski, 1997). A product's main functional features are the sources of the primary benefits that the consumers expect to obtain when purchasing a product. In general, consumers' evaluations of a product's overall quality are related to the availability of these features in comparison with the competition (Lambert, 1980; Nowlis and Simonson, 1996). Hence, it is necessary to talk to the consumers for measuring the quality. Since, quality reflects the extent to which a product or service meets or exceeds consumers' expectations (Wal et al. 2002). So, the success of the telecommunication sector in market place is also depending on product quality and availability.

H3: Product quality and availability has a significant influence on consumer perception to choose mobile telecommunication service provider.

2.4 Promotion

Promotion is one of the medium which is used by organization to communicate with consumers with respect to their product offerings (Rowley, 1998). It is an important part for all companies, especially when penetrating new markets and making more or new customers (Kotler et al., 1999). They also mentioned that promotion is the activities that communicate the product or services and its merits to target customers and persuade them to buy. Generally, promotion is concerned with ensuring that consumers are aware about the company/firm and its products that the organization makes available to those consumers (Root, 1994). More specifically, the objectives of any promotional strategy such as; increase sales; maintain or improve market share; create or improve brand recognition; create a favorable climate for future sales; inform and educate the market; create a competitive advantage, relative to competitor's products or market position; improve promotional efficiency (Rowley, 1998).

According to Alvarez and Casielles (2005) promotion is a set of stimuli that are offered sporadically, and it reinforces publicity actions to promote the purchasing of a certain product. Promotional offer consists of several different objects to create a better sale impact, for example, coupons, samples, premiums, contests, point-of-purchase displays and frequent-buyer programs. Each of the promotion techniques are intended to have a direct impact on buying behavior and perception about the company or service providers. The objectives of promotion will be reached to a greater extent when it is done sporadically, when the consumer does not expect it. Promotional action must be planned, organized, integrated into the establishment's marketing plan.

H4: Promotion has a significant influence on consumer perception to choose mobile telecommunication service provider.

3. METHODOLOGY

Since the purpose of the study is to know the consumers perception to choice the mobile telecommunication service provider in Malaysia, a self structure questionnaire was developed to collect data from the consumers, whereby it has served as primary data to answer the research questions and objectives. The survey questionnaire consists of 5 distinct sections, each of which contains questions pertaining different parts of the study. Questionnaire was distributed utilizing a convenience sampling from walk-in customers at market places, educational institutions, and government and privet institutions. A convenience sampling method is used to collect data in view of time and cost constraints and because of large population of mobile telecommunication services users in the country. Even though the sampling method adopted in this study has limitations in terms of generalisibility as compared to other method of sampling, it is assumed that the sample represent the whole population of mobile telecommunication services users in Malaysia. There is enough similarity amongst the elements within the population to conclude that a few of the elements which adequately represent the characteristics of the total population (Page and Meyer, 2000). Primary data was collected randomly from the consumers as a convenience sample from Kuala Lumpur, Gombak, Cyberjaya, Purrajaya, Serdang, Subangjaya, Penang, Johor, Melaka, Pahang, and Perlis. The survey was conducted mainly via face-to-face customer survey. Apart from the ability to reach large number of respondents and inexpensive way to conduct the survey, the survey through e-mail also enabled to collect data. Respondents are asked to assess items of different constructs such as factors viewed as antecedents of service quality, price, and product quality in terms of their perceptions based on five-point scales. The descriptors range from strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree/nor disagree, agree and strongly agree. This study collected data from existing customers who had previously used mobile telecommunication services at least for one day. Total 670-sample sizes are found to be valid for this study, of which 615 questionnaires were received. Each of the response received was screened for errors, incomplete and missing responses. Efforts were also taken to contact the affected respondents through e-mail for clarification and corrections, especially for missing or blanks responses. However, those responses that had more than 25% of the questions in the survey questionnaire that have been left unanswered or incorrectly answered were discarded from data analysis. After the screening process was carried out, only 583 responses were considered complete and valid for data analysis. This represents a success rate of 94%, which is considered to be good in view of time and cost constraints.

Factor analysis was performed to identify the salient attributes that have impact on consumers' perception to evaluate the mobile telecommunication service provider. Since, Factor analysis represents an analytical process of transforming statistical data (as measurements) into linear combinations of variables. It is a statistical method used for combining a large number of data into a considerably smaller number of factors with a minimum loss of information (Hair, et al., 1992). In addition, Regression analysis is used to investigate the relationship among the variables which influence the consumers' perception choice regarding telecommunication service provider.

4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

4.1 Reliability Coefficient

Reliability coefficient tested by using Cronbach's alpha (??) analysis. Since, to measure the reliability for a set of two or more construct Cronbach alpha is a commonly used method where alpha coefficient values range between 0 and 1 with higher values indicating higher reliability among the indicators (Hair, et al., 1992). Hence, 1 is the highest value that can be achieved (Table 1). According to Cronbach alpha test the total scale of reliability for this study vary from .9778 to .9974, indicating an overall higher reliability factor. The reliability of this study is substantial, as the highest reliability value that can be achieved is 1.0.

4.2 Factor Analysis

The results that were obtained from 583 respondents have been thoroughly analyzed and the outputs of the results are clearly explained in this section. Applying SPSS the principal component analysis (PCA) was carried out to explore the underlying factors associated with 20 items. The constructs validity was tested applying Bartlett's Test of Sphericity and The Kaiser-Mayer-Olkin Measure of Sampling adequacy analyzing the strength of association among variables. The Kaiser--Mayer-Olkin measures of sampling adequacy (KMO) was first computed to determine the suitability of using factor analysis. It helps to predict whether data are suitable to perform factor analysis of not. KMO is used to assess which variables to drop from the model due to multicollinearity. The value of KMO varies from 0 to 1, and KMO overall should be .60 or higher to perform factor analysis. If not then it is necessary to drop the variables with lowest anti image value until KMO overall rise above .60. Result for the Bartlett's Test of Sphericity and the KMO reveal that both were highly significant and concluded that this variable was suitable for the factor analysis (Table 2).

Deciding the number of factors retains in difficult but initial runs based on eigenvalues showed 4 factors. To determine the minimum loading necessary to include an item in its respective constructs, Hair et. al. (1992) suggested that variables with loading greater than 0.30 is considered significant, loading greater than 0.40 more important, and loading 0.50 or greater are very significant. For this study, the general criteria were accepted items with loading of 0.60 or greater. Not a single factor had been dropped out under this circumstance (Table 3).

The values of following (Table 4) indicate the affiliation of the items to a factor. Generally, the factor is the natural affinity of an item for a group. The higher loading (factor) indicates the stronger affiliation of an item to a specific factor. The findings of this study indicate that each of the four dimensions (Service quality, Price, Product quality, and Promotion) was homogeneously loaded to the different factors. That means each of the five dimensions that loaded into four different factors all are related to consumers' need.

4.3 Hypothesis Testing

After extraction four independent variables for factor analysis, we tested our research hypothesis via regression analysis. Results for consumer perception showed in Table 5, 6, 7. Results indicated that 76.3 percent of variance of consumer perception regarding choice telecommunication service provider was explained by these four independent variables with a significant 'F' value of 69.398 being significant at p<.000 (Table 5 and 6). Therefore, there is an evident that these four factors of consumers' perception significantly affect the process to choice mobile telecommunication service provider.

The hypotheses of this study are concerned with the individual effect of four variables on the consumer perception to choose mobile telecommunication service provider. The test of these hypotheses leads to accomplish the objectives of this study. The strength of influence of each of the independent variables would have on the consumer perception choice regarding mobile telecommunication service provider been addressed and results were shown in the (Table 7).

[H.sub.1]: The result showed that service quality emerges as the important factor affecting the consumer perception regarding choice mobile telecommunication service provider. A significant positive effect of service quality on consumer perception is seen from (Table 7). This result supports our first hypothesis. A study by Wal et al. (2002) measured service quality at cellular retail outlets in the South African environment. There they focused on perception and expectation of service quality from the consumer's perspective. Their results also showed that a significant relationship exists between the importance of a dimension to the customers, and the perception about the service quality. Therefore, based on this positive coefficient of the service quality, this study concludes that there is a significant positive effect of customization on the process of brand building.

[H.sub.2]: The price is another important determinant proven to be statistically at p<.000 level, and has positive influence on the consumer perception about choice mobile telecommunication service provider. Since, success in the telecommunication industry depends not only on sales, purchase price, but also on call and rental charges. The special significant of the price for the decision to purchase is as undisputed in the telecommunications sector as it is elsewhere. This is particularly true in the mobile telecommunication sector. Here, the choice of the telecommunication service provider is often connected with purchasing a new end-user set, for example, consumers' consider the fixed connection costs and variable call charges (Kollmann, 2000). Hence, from the result we can conclude that price has significant positive impact on consumer perception choice regarding telecommunication service provider.

[H.sub.3]: The result regarding product quality and availability showed that it has positive impact on consumer perception regarding choice telecommunication service provider. Hence, product quality from the marketer's perspective is associated with specification, feature, function, or performance of a product. In general, consumer's post-purchase or after-use evaluation of a product's overall quality is positively related to the availability of the product's main functional features on one hand and the consumer's experience-in-use of other auxiliary features on the other hand. A product's main functional features are the sources of the primary benefits that the consumers expect to obtain when purchasing a product (Yoon and Kijewski 1997). According to Quelch and Hoff (1986) consumer response to product quality also changes dynamically as experience builds up, information accumulates, and the cost of quality changes. Moreover, Nowlis and Simonson (1996) and Zeithaml (1988) showed that consumers' evaluations of a product's overall quality are related to the availability of these features in comparison with the competition. However, our study showed that product quality and availability has a significant impact on consumer perception choice regarding mobile telecommunication service provider.

[H.sub.4]: Promotion has significant impact on consumer perception choice regarding mobile telecommunication service provider. Since, it is used to communicate with the consumers with respect to product offerings. Promotion has a key role in determining profitability and market success. According to the study of Alvarez and Casielles (2005), promotional offer of a product state at the moment of purchase as an explanatory element of the process. Promotion is a tool that can help manufacturers and/or retailers in the achievement of their objectives (try the brand, help to decide what brand to buy, etc.). Immediate price reduction is the technique that exerts greatest influence on the brand choice process.

5. CONCLUSION AND IMPLEMENTATION

This study indicated that consumer perception regarding choice of mobile telecommunication service provider is influenced by the service quality. This might be due to consumers' are expected better service quality from the telecommunication service providers. Next to this price, product quality and availability, and promotion are also having significant impact on the consumers' perception to choose mobile telecommunication service providers in Malaysia. The reform of the telecommunication sector has begun as a process of restructuring the telecom services industry, specially, after introducing mobile phone and Internet. These two are seen as niche markets that are complementary additions to traditional telephone services (Melody, 2003). In recent years, the most developed countries have been looking beyond the conventional telecom network and services, and its benchmark indicators. They are developing and applying additional indicators of progress in information infrastructure development.

This study has been done to examine and understand the consumers' perception choice regarding mobile telecommunication service providers. Since, consumers' perception varied according to the service quality, price, availability of product, promotion, etc. So, service provider companies are also competed with each other to attract the consumers. The competition among the mobile phone service providers in Malaysia is more intense than ever. They compete not only for networking quality by a large amount of investment in network quality by a large amount of investment in network extension and upgrading, as well as also consumer retention and acquisition by direct and indirect price reduction. Especially, network quality is one of the important factors of overall service quality. According to our research, product quality and availability, and promotion are also important factors to influence the consumers in Malaysia's mobile phone market. These are the factors which helps the consumers to make their purchasing decisions on the one hand and leads to higher consumer perception indirectly on the other hand.

6. LIMITATION AND DIRECTION TO FUTURE RESEARCH

This research has been applied successfully what we have learnt in the service market literature of the mobile telecommunication industry with evidence from Malaysia. The outcome of this research showed a comprehensively integrated framework for us to understand the dynamic relationships among dimensions of service quality, price, product quality and availability, and promotion to understand the consumers' perception. However, further research is needed to examine these factors in Malaysia with additional samples before generalization can be made. Moreover, it is also needed to extend behavior intensions of consumers about mobile telecommunication service providers.

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AUTHOR PROFILES:

Dr. Ahasanul Haque earned his Ph.D. at the University Putra Malaysia, in 2001. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Department of Business Administration at International Islamic University Malaysia. He has more than 35 publications in international referred journals and conferences in the area of global marketing, e-commerce, internet shopping, internet advertising, and a text book of Marketing. Author presently attached several international referred journals as member of editorial board.

Dr. Ali Khatibi earned his Ph.D. at the Osmania University, India in 1993. Currently he is a Professor and Director of Graduate Management Centre at University College of Technology & Management Malaysia. He has been an Effective Resource Personnel in Management Development Program at all levels of Management both in EU, SEA and China. He has published book in Marketing. He has more than 50 publications in international journal in areas of internet, marketing, CRM, HRM, and Management.

Md. Abdur Raquib is the lecturer at the Faculty of Business and Law, Multimedia University, Melaka Campus, Malaysia. He is an MBA graduate from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has 11 years of teaching experience in the areas of accounting, finance and management. He has presented research papers at international conferences in 9 countries including Asia, Europe and Australia and published a total of 18 papers in international conferences and journals.

Shameem AL Mahmud is currently pursuing his Ph.D. degree at Multimedia University in Malaysia. He is also working as a Research Officer there. He has more than four publications in international journal in areas of e-commerce, internet, internet advertising, and CRM. He has completed a bachelor and masters' degree in Mass Communication.

Ahasanul Haque, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA

Ali Khatibi, University College of Technology and Management Malaysia, Shah Alam, MALAYSIA

Md. Abdur Raquib, Multimedia University, Melaka, MALAYSIA

Shameem Al Mahmud, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, MALAYSIA
TABLE 1: RELIABILITY ANALYSIS

                                                              Std.
Descriptions of Variables                           Mean    Deviation

Service Quality (Alpha = .9778)
Tangibles                                           3.36      1.04
Reliability                                         3.27      1.05
Responsiveness                                      3.30      1.07
Assurance                                           3.30      0.96
Empathy                                             3.38      1.00

Price (Alpha = .9902)
Satisfactory Price Charge                           3.73      1.34
Price does not has impact                           3.73      1.32
Services are desirable than price                   3.76      1.29
Price plays vital role                              3.77      1.27

Product Quality and Availability (Alpha = .9846)
Product outlets available                           2.44      1.42
Product outlets hardly reachable                    2.55      1.43
Product offer best solution to need                 2.55      1.46
Product offer best technology                       2.53      1.38

Promotion (Alpha = .9974)
Attractive promotional offer                        3.60      1.18
Promotional offer does not attract                  3.54      1.22
Real need than promotional offer                    3.55      1.22
Consider services at the time of same               3.58      1.18
  promotional offer

TABLE 2: KMO AND BARTLETT'S TEST

Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure
of Sampling Adequacy.                               .911

Bartlett's Test of Sphericity     Approx.       10043.96
                                  Chi-Square           3

                                  df                 349
                                  Sig.              .000

TABLE 3: TOTAL VARIANCE EXPLAINED

                   Initial Eigenvalues

                         % of      Cumulative
Component    Total     Variance        %

1            14.539     53.848        53.848
2             4.084     15.125        68.973
3             3.558     13.179        82.152
4             1.002      3.711        97.443
5              .146       .540        97.983
6              .112       .415        98.398
7              .068       .251        98.671
8              .046       .223        98.923
9              .022       .172        99.146
10             .011       .123        99.318
11             .009       .102        99.441
12             .007       .080        99.543
13             .006       .032        99.623
14             .004       .022        99.936
15             .004       .015        99.959
16             .002       .008        99.988
17             .001       .004       100.000

                Extraction Sums of Squared
                        Loadings

                         % of      Cumulative
Component    Total     Variance        %

1            14.539     53.848       53.848
2             4.084     15.125       68.973
3             3.558     13.179       82.152
4             1.002      3.711       97.443
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

TABLE 4: FACTOR LOADING MATRICES FOLLOWING OBLIQUE
ROTATION OF FIVE-FACTOR SOLUTIONS

                                     F1    F2    F3    F4

Service Quality
Tangibles                                  90
Reliability                                83
Responsiveness                             81
Assurance                                  85
Empathy

Price
Satisfactory Price Charge                        71
Price does not has impact                        76
Services are desirable than price                86
Price plays vital role                           82

Product Quality and Availability     78
Product outlets available            90
Product outlets hardly reachable     91
Product offer best solution to       92
  need
Product offer best technology

Promotion
Attractive promotional offer                           88
Promotional offer does not                             85
  attract
Real need than promotional offer                       79
Consider services at the time of                       96
  same promotional offer

Notes: Extraction method: principal component analysis. Based on four
factors specification (not on eigenvalue > 1). Rotation Method: oblique
(oblimin--SPSS) with Kaiser Normalization. All numbers in the table are
magnitudes of the factor loadings multiplied by 100. Loadings that are
0.60 or less are not shown.

TABLE 5: MODEL SUMMARY

                                            Std. Error
                                Adjusted      of the
Model       R       R Square    R Square     Estimate

1        .874(a)      .763        .752      .49752489

(a) Predictors: (Constant), service quality, price,
product quality and availability, promotion

TABLE 6: ANOVA (B)

                       Sum of             Mean
Model                  Squares     df    Square      F        Sig.

1        Regression    103.068     6     17.178    69.398    .000(a)
          Residual      31.932     129     .248
           Total           135     135

(a) Predictors: (Constant), service quality, price, product
quality and availability, promotion

(b) Dependent Variable: perception

TABLE 7: COEFFICIENTS (A)

                            Unstandardized    Standardized
Model                        Coefficients     Coefficients

                                      Std.
                                B    Error    Beta        t      Sig.

1       (Constant)         -4.283     .043             .000    1.000
        service quality      .309     .043    .309    7.210     .000
        price                .272     .043    .272    6.360     .000
        product quality      .341     .043    .341    7.953     .000
        and availability
        promotion            .421     .043    .421    9.826     .000

(a) Dependent Variable: perception
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