Study shows level of consumer intolerance to network delays.
A new study undertaken by Ericsson and Vodafone Germany has found that a mere two-second delay in uploading a selfie over Facebook is enough to cause stress among smartphone users.
Neuroscience was used in the study to understand how network performance affects subscriber emotions, stress levels and operator brand.
The study monitored the brain activity of 150 participant volunteers in Düsseldorf, Germany, using electroencephalography equipment.
The participants were invited to complete 13 specific tasks on a smartphone within ten minutes whilst network connectivity issues were simulated.
The tasks included uploading selfies, engaging with streaming video and general browsing of the web. The volunteers’ eye-tracking and pulse rates were also monitored during the experiment.
According to the study, even small delays and disturbances increase the level of tension and stress, and have a negative impact on subscriber loyalty and operator brand.
The results show that consumers have high expectations around time to content with just one-second delay in loading video being stressful.
Vodafone Germany director network performance Guido Weißbrich said: “The study proves how quickly smartphone users become unsatisfied when a broadband network is not performing at its best.
“A mere one-second delay when downloading or uploading content has a significant negative impact on the user experience, so streaming services must do everything to avoid lengthy buffering or freezing of content.”
Ericsson said the results of the experiment have led it to launch a Neurometric Analysis tool to its App experience optimisation offering. The new offering will be available for operators globally.
Ericsson head of managed services and network design and optimisation at business unit network services Bradley Mead said: “It is essential for operators to understand how people actually feel about the service they provide and how it really impacts their day to day lives.
“We now have valuable data that can be used to optimise and engineer networks to maximise the experience when using popular applications.”