Indian Mobile Users still Far Away from Internet

image Here’s a question that I have been asking whenever I have had more than a handful of people around me - “How many of you use internet on your mobile phone?” And invariably the response were horribly negative. We frequently hear the great number of mobile phones that Indian consumers have been lapping up.. will this communication revolution lead to information revolution? The answer reflects in the recently released report by IAMAI.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how the mobile usage in India looks like:

From the hugely touted Indian mobile penetration, only 0.4% users actively use Internet. And here is what my worry is: Mobile adoption in India is leading to telecom revolution while the larger information revolution is still far away.

The future of the mobile internet seems to hold some promise though. The young generation of school going and college going kids constitute around 68% of this mobile online population. When this generation grows up (probably in 10 years) they will grow this usage of theirs.

So, do we wait till then?

There are two main challenges I see in internet usage on mobile devices:

  1. Availability of affordable mobile handsets. Only 27% of all Indian mobile users have internet capable devices.
  2. Internet Usage rates on mobile devices are still too high. TRAI had helped reduce tariffs on mobile telephone usage leading to this explosion. It needs to take the next step and recommend lower tariffs for internet usage.

The potential of mobile computing can only come true if these last two last issues are successfully mitigated by policy intervention.

What do you think?


Ankit Prakash said…
Yes this is the post I was waiting for...even I was worried about this scenario.
Right now I am doing engineering, and for almost last 4 years I'm using mobile Internet,it is really helpful. I use it for e-mail, IM, twitter, and surfing. Surfing becomes very costly while IM is a time and cost saver. Moreover this situation prevailing here is due to very cheap call rates. Most of the time I am online, ppl know about this and because of this they simply call me for certain queries like finding route on map, results, reservation/train status and so on, it becomes quite frustrating for me. In the present situation almost all engineering students here have wap/gprs enables mobiles but they simply don't like to use it, sometimes may be because they don't know how to configure gprs setting on handset!(which is is big shame for technical student).
While coming to speed, its fair for surfing. But as I already said it is costly.Data plans are very funny like Rs.99 for 100Mb! Data uses is very low.
Hope the situation will get well by coming years, as I am seeing some change.
Unknown said…
I got an internet enabled phone a few months back.But when i used internet on mobile device it was a horrifying experience.Click a link and go on waiting for infinite time,but at the same time the mobile phone operator will always charge you.Even if you have a EDGE(around 230kbps) enabled phone you will still not get the speed of GPRS(around 40kbps).
At present the Phone operators are talking of migrating to 3G servics.With booming mobile markets and mobile phone networks being spread all over the country how can they think of giving high speed 3G data services when they cann't even run 2G properly.
During the last few months TRAI has taken sufficient steps to reduce call rates but it has done almost nothing to reduce Internet Tariff in India.Internet on mobile is still too much costly.I think when 3G will come we will then get the peak speed of EDGE network and when WiMAX(which has been already in use in some countries like Venezuala) will come we will get the speed of 3G.Just shame on India's phone operators
Ankit Prakash said…
Some good news:

Reliance is ready to launch a new cell phone for Rs 480 or $10 which will also have GPRS 2G capability, Making it the cheapest internet phone in the world!
Futher, As per TRAI’s numbers, mobile internet users are 14 times more than the broadband users! Don't know whether second one is true or not read at:
vasudev said…
Yes I agree. Unless such Mobile sets and data plans are not made affordable, this percentage will not grow fast.
buy r4i said…
I want to know one more thing that is whether the O.4% users are different from the users that connect mobile to computer and uses internet. Because most of the mobile internet subscribers are using it to get the internet on computers.
Abhishek Kant said…
buy r4i: the 0.4% includes people using mobile to access internet on their PCs.
Rituraj said…
this is not a shocking fact for me. As I see how many mobiles are good compatible for internet browsing. Is 3G available all over the india..? NO

Then how can we expect a information revolution. India will grow in this field but not like mobile revolution.
jeux casino said…
thanks for the information

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