Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management


Telecommunication is one of the fastest growing industries covering 90% of the world population. It is estimated that by the end of 2010 there will be around 5.3 million mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide (Union, 2010). The rapid growth of telecom users worldwide is also accompanied with increase in number of telecom providers, leading to more fierce competition in this market. Moreover the introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in various countries has also facilitated an easier mode for a customer to switch to another provider. Hence it makes more sense for the telecom providers to retain their customers and gain profit equivalent to the investment necessary for acquisition of new customers. It becomes extremely essential for the telecom providers to understand various causes that lead a customer to churn before planning any retention strategy. This has been an active area of research since many years and several studies have also been conducted for identifying churn determinants. Although, previously there have not been any attempts to review literature specifically related to customer churn behavior hence the paper attempts to present an aggregated view of various factors and their relationships with their effects on telecom customer churn. The paper presents a comprehensive list of factors extracted by reviewing existing literature on various studies conducted for identifying determinants of customer churn in telecom industry. The paper aims to help practitioners and researchers by providing a strong base for their industrial practice and future research. The identified gaps in the previous studies have also been discussed in latter sections. Next section provides the methodology followed for the paper. Later sections provide discussion on the identified factors and their relationships. The last section provides summary of the findings as well as discussion on the identified limitations of the existing studies. The areas where future research is required have also been provided in this section.