Internet usage in India has surged 49% over the past year, as stated by Telecom Minister Ravi Shanker Prasad. Nearly 6o% of total internet users in India access the internet on their mobile and the number of mobile internet users in India is expected to reach 213 million by the end of 2015. The exploded adoption of mobile and internet marks its impact on college students as well. According to the new report based on a survey conducted by UCWeb’s – Ipsos Indian college students spend up to 8 hours per day while working professionals spent around 5 to 8 hours browsing the internet on mobile. With the early exposure to smartphone and the internet, school going students are also well exposed to mobile internet; school students spend around 3-4 hours daily during the weekends while the figure goes up during the weekend.
The Survey report mainly focuses on the growing adoption of mobile browser, usage behaviour of mobile internet among college students and working professionals in India. The report highlights that the use of Wi-Fi during the weekends is relatively higher among these people. They, however, rely on the 3G/2G network on weekdays. This is probably due to the fact that college students and working professionals, both, spend much of their time indoors during weekends where the access to Wi-Fi is easily available.
In an aim to accelerate internet adoption in India, Google is working on building a public Wi-Fi network. With the help of Indian Railways and RailTel, Google has promised to deliver Wi-Fi connectivity by the end of December 2016 in many railway stations in India.
Speed And Brand: The Most Important Factor
The another important aspect of the report is the Network Speed and the Service Provider Brand, which play an important role for mobile internet users in tier-1 cities while selecting the mobile internet and the browser. Despite lowering mobile data price, users in Tier-1 cities are still quite sensitive to speed and data utilisation. A majority of the users prefer to use mobile when on data plans, they rarely choose to tether their data to other devices, likes of laptop and tablet, when on the mobile data plan. The report also highlights that most of the time smartphone is preferred for surfing the internet, that makes a browser playing an important role for users to have a splendid experience.
However, to make users consume maximum data, telecom service providers in India are luring the customers with their jaw-dropping 2G/3G plans. For example, the night data plan introduced by Airtel, allows users to get back 50% of the data consumed during 12 am to 6 am for free.
Browser wins over the Apps
The survey also threw lights on the use of mobile browser over apps for searching the information over the internet, chatting and sharing pictures. Mobile users shy away from video calling and online shopping using the browser, while gaming, chats and transactional activities were recorded equally, both on web browser and apps.
According to the report, UC Browser rules the mobile browser market in India with 54% market share. The other mobile browsers fail to present any competition to UC as their market share is almost one-third of what UC Browser enjoys. Opera occupies the 2nd spot with 20% market share, followed by Chrome with 14% mobile browser market share.
The Survey findings also reveal the reason for browsers domination over apps; A simple layout, on-the-go download, and basic design make mobile browsers a preferable mode of surfing over the apps. Browsing speed, Service Provider and download speed are the key attributes required for choosing the internet browser.
The number of mobile internet users in India is growing at a rapid pace. The exploded adoption of smartphones is making a greater number of people onboard the internet nowadays. However, with just 15% smartphone penetration, the internet usage behaviour of mobile users are still largely confined to mobile browser experience. Advertisers and marketers targeting to mobile users must adopt the browser-first strategy.