Mobiles & Tablets

‘Affordability, digital literacy are key barriers to mobile internet use’

Our Bureau New Delhi April 28 | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on April 28, 2015
Proportion of smartphone users above the age of 50 has quadrupled from one per cent in 2013 to 4 per cent in 2015. FIle Photo

Proportion of smartphone users above the age of 50 has quadrupled from one per cent in 2013 to 4 per cent in 2015. FIle Photo

3 in 5 urban Indian smartphone owners use mobile broadband: survey

Even as adoption of mobile internet is becoming more widespread, affordability and digital literacy have emerged as the key barriers.

According to a report released by Ericsson Consumer Lab on Tuesday, only 10 per cent of mobile internet users feel they understand their data plan perfectly and are able to make accurate judgment when deciding on a plan.

Also, nearly 88 per cent of 2G consumers felt that mobile broadband is too expensive, 53 per cent felt that mobile broadband adds no value and 48 per cent believe there is no difference between 2G and 3G speeds.

The study was conducted between September 2014 and January 2015 covering 15,000 urban households and people aged between 15 to 75 years, which includes face-to-face interviews with nearly 4,500 smartphone users.

Customers’ understanding

Ajay Gupta, Vice-President and Head of Strategy and Marketing, Ericsson India, said, “When consumers are confident in their understanding of what is offered, they tend to perceive better value from it. In fact, they consume twice as much data compared to users who find it difficult to understand their plan.”

Though the adoption of mobile internet is growing across socio-economic segments and age groups, three in five smartphone owners use mobile broadband in urban India.

It also said that with decrease in smartphone prices, the adoption of mobile internet within the lower socio-economic segment has increased over the last two years-from 38 per cent in 2013 to 45 per cent in 2015. At the same time, the proportion of smartphone users above the age of 50 has grown four times from 1 per cent in 2013 to 4 per cent in 2015.

Use of mobile internet

Gupta said, “The internet is finally coming of age and is empowering cross sections of Indian society. Though the most used smartphone services in India are for social networking and instant messaging, the usage of banking, e-commerce, navigation and cloud storage app and services is increasing.”

Some of the key challenges users reported include connection quality, session failures aswell as poor app-accessibility.

Issues faced

Nearly 63 per cent of the users reported that they faced quality and reliability issues, such as lost connections and inconsistent network speeds while using mobile networks indoors, while 68 per cent of consumers said they face app-related issues, such as lengthy lag time, apps taking a long time to refresh, maps failing to load and session failures while they are commuting or are outdoors.

The study noted that such problems are more common in mid-size and small towns compared with large cities.

Published on April 28, 2015
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