India will have 40m new mobile internet users in 6 months. NEW DELHI: In the next six months, India is going to add 40 million mobile internet users, says a new report.
The number of mobile internet users in India, pegged at 173 million in December 2014, is expected to reach 213 million by June 2015. In rural India, this user base is expected to grow at 33% to reach 53 million by that time, says the report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.
“Primary reason for a higher growth on mobile internet user-base in rural India can be attributed to introduction of inexpensive internet enabled mobile handsets, value-for-money plans and need to stay connected etc.
Apart from other devices, 78% of the active internet users in urban cities and 66% in rural villages are accessing the internet on their mobile,” says the report. Analysing the availability of affordable handsets, the study notes that the average price of a handset has fallen from Rs 8,250 in 2012 to Rs 7,000 in 2013 and to Rs 6,202 in 2014.
The analysis of mobile phone usage indicates that not only are more people using more mobile phones, but the share of data usage has grown as compared to basic voice and text functionality.
While the average mobile bill was Rs 387 in 2013, it grew to Rs 439 in 2014; a growth of 13%. When it comes to data usage, the spend increased by 36% from Rs 173 to Rs 235. “Limited download rental plans are more common across the demographic segments except for non-working women,” says the report.
What’s taking up all that internet usage? E-mail, mostly, followed by social networking. 74% users, the study finds, use mobile internet services for e-mail, 61% for social networking and 40% for navigation apps while travelling. Online shopping comprises a measly 11% of the pie, which the study attributes to people’s “apprehension” about transacting through their phones.
Local train commuters need not worry about queues or change soon. In three months, railways will allow travellers to book suburban tickets on their mobiles and print them out at the station. The technology, to be available on smart as well as non-internet-based phones, is under trial. (TOI Photo)
“The proportion of mobile internet users to active internet user across devices has increased over the years and also expected to grow in future. As of October 2014, this proportion is 78% in case of urban and 65% in case of rural. By June 2015, it is expected to reach 85% for urban and remain at 65% for rural,” says the report.
The study covered eight metros as well as other 27 cities with a population exceeding one million. It was carried between June and Sept 2014, covering 19,000 sample households randomly selected from electoral rolls. Based on their mobile and internet behaviour, the report also makes future projections.