User Continuance Intention Towards Mobile Internet Service: The Case Of WiMAX in Korea

User Continuance Intention Towards Mobile Internet Service: The Case Of WiMAX in Korea

Hee-Woong Kim (Graduate School of Information, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea), Sumeet Gupta (Indian Institute of Management Raipur, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India) and Yoon-Seung Jeon (KT, Seongnam-city, South Korea)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/jgim.2013100107
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The usage of mobile Internet service has been on the rise as more people become to use mobile devices. WiMAX, a mobile Internet service, was first commercialized in Korea in 2006. However, after first six months, a number of users discontinued the service and switched to other Internet services. Because customer retention is important for the success of any business, this research examines the factors that affect the continued usage of mobile Internet service. A user of a mobile Internet service is both a user of technology and consumer of services. Therefore, to examine the continued usage of mobile Internet service, the authors combine the value adoption model, representing the service consumer perspective, with the information systems continuance model, representing the technology user perspective. The study is conducted in the context of WiMAX. The data was collected from 200 WiMAX users. The model developed in this study is a unique contribution to theory as it discusses the continued adoption of a commercial information system.
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As the adoption of mobile devices (i.e., smartphone) by users increases, the usage of wireless Internet service increases. WiMAX is a wireless broadband Internet service (i.e., mobile Internet service) for mobile devices including laptops, cell phones, and smartphones. It is easily accessible anytime and anywhere, even when a user is moving at speeds of 120 km/h. It was launched by KT for the first time in Korea in July 2006, after it was selected by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as a global standard in September 2005 (KT, 2009). With the increased adoption of smartphones and tablet PCs, WiMAX is expected to be the next generation for mobile communication and wireless Internet access.

To attract new customers, KT offered six months free access to WiMAX service, as well as other promotions (such as free netbooks), for those who subscribed to WiMAX. However, after the six-month contract period, a number of users switched to alternative Internet services ( Kim, 2008 ), such as the wired high-speed Internet. There are several wired and mobile Internet access services and switching costs are also low. This is a cause of concern because it directly impacts the performance of mobile Internet service providers ( Kim, Chan, & Gupta, 2007b ). In this study, we aim to examine the factors affecting the continued usage of a mobile Internet service, especially in the context of WiMAX in Korea. This would help mobile Internet service providers in attracting and retaining customers.

Most of the previous studies on information systems (IS) continuance ( Bhattacherjee, 2001b ; Kim, Chan, & Chan, 2007a ; Kim & Malhotra, 2005 ; Thong, Hong, & Tan, 2006 ) attempt to explain user continuance intention based on the IS continuance model. According to this model, the technology’s attributes (e.g., usefulness) and user’s experience with the technology (e.g., satisfaction) are the most important factors in determining the user’s continuance decision ( Bhattacherjee, 2001b ). The use of IS continuance model is quite appropriate in case of an Information System (e.g., MS Office and Mobile technology), where a user interacts with an information system but does not consume any service. However, in electronic commerce or mobile commerce, a user is not only the user of a technology or IS but also a consumer of services provided by the service provider in return for prescribed fee. In other words, a user in case of electronic commerce or mobile commerce is also a consumer who makes a rational economic assessment before subscribing to or using any technology or IS (Thaler, 1985; Zeithaml, 1988). Therefore, IS continuance model is not sufficient alone to examine the continued usage of mobile Internet service. There are various categories of IS and WiMAX may be categorized under networking systems as it helps in Internet connectivity for both individuals and organizations. Its characteristics are similar to that involved in adoption of mobile Internet.

Since WiMAX is a technology that involves commercial transaction as well as consumption of service provided by the service provider, we examine its continued usage by integrating the IS continuance model (Bhattacherjee, 2001b) with theories from marketing. Marketing literature (Thaler, 1985; Zeithaml, 1988) and economics literature (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979) explain two assessments in consumer decision making, namely, value-based assessment and comparison with alternatives. In the value-based assessment, customers evaluate the benefits relative to the costs involved in using the service (Zeithaml, 1988). In comparison with alternatives, customers compare various alternatives before making their choice decision (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979; Thaler, 1985). Therefore, to examine the rational economic assessment from the service consumer perspective, we use customer value theory (Zeithaml, 1988) along with alternative comparison (Jones, Mothersbaugh, & Beatty, 2000). These two perspectives (i.e., service consumer perspective and IS user perspective) are integrated to study continuance intention of a mobile Internet service user. Their integration is explained later in this study.

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