Ronnie05's Blog

Mobile Internet: India surprises with No.2 position in the world

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on March 31, 2010

Mobile Internet is the next big thing in India going by recent reports by Google. Indians have emerged as the second biggest consumers of mobile internet with 5.9% share of 14 billion mobile page views. Though the report may be majorly flawed because Google has not measured the China numbers, the statistic is quite telling in favor of India.

The reported transition to the “fourth screen”, i.e Mobiles is well and truly happening as the number of new data connections added globally this year will be higher on the mobile than on the PC.

The rise in the numbers of mobile internet in India is fueled by both post paid data accounts (numbers 25 million of the 500 million or so mobile users in India) and another 55-65 million pre-paid users who use the operator WAP portals to access the Internet. Thats about 13% of the total subscription base* of India.The number of Internet users on PCs in India is growing at 50% per annum and would hit the 100 million mark by the end of 2010. In Comparison China added 100 million new users to the online community last year.

Interestingly however, the mobile access trends in India are completely contrarian to the global trends. Sample This:

1. Unlike almost every other country where the highest number of usage came from a smartphone, in India, the top two devices were mid-range Nokia phones — the Express Music 5130 and the 3110c, both of which cost between Rs 3,500 and Rs 5,500
2. The iPhone, the Rs 30,000 handset from Apple that accounted for nearly 40% of the global mobile web traffic in February, did not figure in the top 10 devices in India.
3. Nokia, which had just one presence in the world top 10 devices for mobile Internet, took all the 10 spots in India. Its devices also accounted for 59% of all mobile web traffic from India, followed by ‘Others’ and Sony Ericsson and Samsung.
4. Nokia’s N70, the only Nokia presence in world’s top 10 devices for generating mobile Internet traffic, was the most popular ‘smartphone’ in India, followed by other N Series devices such as N80, N73, N72 and the iPhone.
This thus re-iterates my view on the Indian Markets that low cost innovation would drive adoption in Indian Markets. The Indian markets have not seen any effort to reduce the cost of ownership of smartphones which has thus been an entry barrier to mass adoption of smartphones.

The voice network congestion, high data tariffs and low penetration of VAS services (compounding by lack of compelling apps and VAS) have been stumbling blocks to mass adoption of internet on Mobile. Regulatory clearances and 3G roll outs will help massification of the mobiel internet.

In the mean time, Indian markets have crossed the 600 million subscriber mark. The last 100 million subscribers came in a record of 3 months.

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