Key success factors in the mobile phone industry in Arusha, Tanzania
The mobile phone industry in Tanzania is an emerging industry which is growing at a high rate. The industry has been characterized by increased global competition, the transition from analogue signals to digital signals mode of communication has brought a raft of regulatory and technological innovations that allow for transfer of critical information in real time. The relentless march of technology has allowed the service providers to extend the scope of their activities and increase their operational efficiency while expanding their consumer base. As a new industry various studies must therefore be conducted to enhance its growth as well as reaching the customer goals. The objectives of this study therefore were to determine the key factors that contribute to the success of the mobile phone service industry and if the service providers leverage some of their strategies on the industry key success factors. A census of four mobile phone service providers namely Vodacom, Tigo, Celtel and TTCL mobile in Arusha was conducted. A total of fifteen respondents from these organizations were surveyed using a drop and pick questionnaire. The data from the survey was analyzed using percentages, frequencies and content analysis for qualitative data. The survey result indicated that the industry key success factors include sales volume, price/ cost of the services, business location, staff size and the technology. Strategies such as vigorous advertisements, marketing and sales promotion are used by the respective companies for the purpose of increasing sales volume. Furthermore strategies to ensure that business location is an added advantage to the success of the business were employed. Respondents felt that their companies should put more effort at attracting and retaining customers within high potential areas. Reducing the price for local and international calls was another strategy mentioned by the respondents for the purpose of ensuring affordability of their services and products to the customers. The findings then concluded that mobile service products and competitive strategies are easily copied by peers. Effective change of management of success factors is mandatory, by expanding their view to include strategic planning; leaders should aim at improving financial returns and effective penetration to make it tougher for competitors to emulate them quickly.