Mobile Internet Usage on the Rise in India
In a recent report by Google, India has been named as the country with the second largest consumer of mobile Internet – after U.S. Of the 14 billion webpages seen on small, mobile phone
screens in the month of February 2010, India accounted for 5.9 percent of the share. While there is a large disparity between U.S. and India when it came to mobile data usage, the commendable fact is that India did manage to outstrip China when it came to the mobile web space.
However, since the report is generated by Google, let us also remind you that Google is not as dominant in China as it is in other countries. Also, with the recent issues with the Chinese Government, there is a possibility that the Chinese mobile market might not be well assessed by Google.
Anyway, coming back to the report, Google’s India product head, Vinay Goel, has revealed that India has shown a fivefold increase in the number of mobile Internet users in the last five years. Another interesting fact was his comment that the number of new data connections added globally this year will be higher on the mobile than on the PC. In terms of sheer numbers, only 25 million out of the 500 million strong mobile users in India use paid data accounts. Another large chunk of users (55-65 million users) use operator provided data services.
Another factor that came to light in the report was the means people use to access the mobile web. While U.S. and most western countries saw high-end devices ruling the roost, India interestingly still uses low-end handsets for its web browsing needs. The iPhone, for example, which costs over Rs. 30,000 holds 40 percent market of the global mobile web traffic. In case of India, Nokia phones were right on the top of the charts (as expected). The most popular handsets for web browsing in India were the Xpress Music 5130 and the 3110c. These handsets are low-end devices and costs only between Rs. 3,500 and Rs. 5,500. It is pertinent to note that only one Nokia device makes it to the top 10 listing when the global mobile data is assessed. That device is the Nokia N70. In the case of India however, all 10 devices are from Nokia!
While there is no doubt that mobile based Internet access is on the rise in India, it is high time that we receive faster data speeds and better mobile Internet devices to make the overall experience somewhat comparable to what people experience in the western countries.
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