Mobile internet users may reach 478 million by June 2018: IAMAI

Affordability on Mobile Internet has been the primary factor for the huge popularity of the service; so much so that internet penetration in India is being driven by Mobile Internet.

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The number of mobile internet users is estimated to reach 478 million by June 2018, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and KANTAR-IMRB.

Mobile internet users may  reach 478 million by June 2018: IAMAI

 

"The number of mobile internet users increased by 17.22 percent from December 2016 to reach 456 million users by December 2017, a report said.Adding that urban India witnessed an estimated 18.64 percent Y-o-Y rise, while rural India witnessed an estimated growth of 15.03 percent during the same period.

With 59 percent penetration, urban India is expected to show a slowdown, while rural India with only 18 percent mobile internet penetration is clearly the next area of growth.

Affordability on Mobile Internet has been the primary factor for the huge popularity of the service; so much so that internet penetration in India is being driven by Mobile Internet.

The report further finds that mobile Internet is predominantly used by youngsters, with 46 percent of urban users and 57 percent of rural users being under the age of 25. Urban India has around twice the proportion of users over the age of 45, while the age range of 25 to 44 has the almost equal distribution of users in urban and Rural Areas.

"Expenditure on voice has been steadily decreasing from 2013; and with the popularity of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and video chatting, the expenditure on voice services has decreased drastically in recent times," the report added.

The research firm pointed out that the growth of mobile internet can be attributed to the positive developments by each stakeholder. Handset manufacturers have been producing more affordable smartphone/feature phones, while telecom service providers are now offering better connectivity at more affordable prices.

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However, mobile internet usage is still limited to few specific service categories. The advent of digital entertainment has had the considerable impact on mobile internet usage. Streaming services have a symbiotic linkage with usage growth. Many telecom service operators now bundle subscription of such services to lure customers; while the latter is more likely to take-up higher quality connections to ensure lag-free streaming and better audio/video quality.

Going forward, NTP 2018 with focus on new technologies like 5G is expected to promote better quality data services at more affordable prices and can be expected to help address the digital divides and promote internet penetration in the rural areas via mobile internet.

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