A large number of youngsters in the country are willing to give up watching TV in favour of browsing Internet on a mobile phone, according to a survey done by Ericsson.  

Around 30 million of 69 million urban Generation Z consumers own mobile phones, and 3 million of these use mobile broadband on their phones, according to the survey. A total of 58 per cent of Generation Z favour surfing Internet on a mobile phone than watch TV.

The study done across 16 cities in India reveals the digital lives of kids (9-11 years), tweens (12-15 years) and teens (16-18 years) in India, called Generation Z. 

Ericsson’s new ConsumerLab study shows that even the youngest age group (9-11 years) shows advanced technology adoption and mobile Internet usage similar to their older counterparts.

Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Region, Ericsson India, says: “This report captures the insights of a dynamic consumer group. These young people will shape the future mobile consumption for our industry.”

The key findings show that mobile ownership is catching on at an early age, with 30 million out of 69 million urban members of Generation Z owning mobile phones. 21 per cent of urban Indian kids and tweens mirror mobile Internet services usage as seen among their older counterparts. In fact, kids and tweens are more likely than teens to stream a video on YouTube once a week. They spend roughly seven hours daily with gadgets on mobile phones, watching TV and using gaming consoles. 

Social media is becoming more important for the Generation Z with 77% venting their frustration on poor service experience over social media which leads them to expect instant resolution of their issues and queries and constant feedback via social media itself.

Mobile broadband adoption within this segment is driven by family dynamics. Parents using mobile broadband were more likely to introduce their children to the technology as well. Today, 3 million mobile broadband users in urban India are aged under 18 – 35% of non-users with capable handsets are willing to take up mobile broadband in the next 3 months

Only one in three urban parents are able to keep track of their children’s communication activities and expect service providers to offer services to manage and monitor their children’s mobile and internet usage. A total of 76 per cent of the urban parents expect service providers to provide them with call and message log details of their kids – 63 per cent of parents are interested in an app to block unwarranted content. Interestingly, 30 per cent of 9-18 year olds use a privacy screen to prevent others from seeing their phone.

Ericsson ConsumerLab India conducted the study across 16 cities in India with 3,421 face-to-face interviews with 9-18-year-old mobile phone users and 1,000 parents across 7,785 urban households.  

(This article was published on November 6, 2012)
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