According to a report by Kantar IMRB and Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), mobile internet usage in India was up by 29 percent during October-December 2016 over the previous quarter.
"The entry of Jio with its free 4G data offer redefined the mobile landscape by triggering an increase in data usage amongst consumers and also led to a fundamental restructuring of the telecom industry," said Hemant Mehta, Managing Director, Media and Digital, Kantar IMRB, in a statement.
The report says that women spent nearly 1.3 times more time on online shopping portals as compared to men, it was entertainment that toppled shopping to become the second-most engaged category.
"The huge jump in mobile usage is not only propelled by free data plans but demonetisation policy also is a significant contributor in driving news and media in the top five," added Preeti Desai, Country Manager, Mobile Marketing Association India.
"Search, social, messaging was the topmost engaged category and the average time spent grew by more than 50 percent. WhatsApp witnessed 150 percent growth in usage over the previous quarter," the report added.
Global telecom industry body a has also recently said that India will lead the world in smartphone adoption with a net addition of 350 million connections in 2016-20.
"India will lead the growth with around 350 million net smartphone additions," said GSMA Intelligence Senior Analyst Gu Zhang.
The association further says that with increased smartphone adoption and as Internet-based messaging takes hold in developing markets in coming years, operators in the region will face a similar or potentially greater threat to their voice and SMS revenues as those in the developed world.