Figures from a survey by Ernst & Young reveal that most mobile phone users in India prefer unlimited Internet data plans over usage-based plans. The survey was carried out across 12 countries, including the US, the UK, China, Australia, and Russia, and attempted to highlight the short and medium-term issues that operators faced there. The survey found that, “In India almost 54 percent of the respondents prefer unlimited mobile data for a fixed price per month.”
The survey attributed the constrained nature of the adoption of mobile data services to confusion over data tariffs and lack of guidance from operators on the value of new services. It added, “One in three respondents say they cannot understand mobile data tariffs effectively while only one in five customers claim that they can make an accurate judgement as to what the best tariff option is.”
Surveyed Indians knew better of their data plans (Image Credit: Getty Images)
Of the survey’s respondents in India, 31 percent affirmed to clearly understand mobile data tariffs offered by operators. Incidentally, at 31 percent India has better numbers than the other surveyed nations. In the US, only 16 percent respondents said they understood the data plans. In UK and Russia, 24 percent claimed to understand data plans.
“It is imperative for mobile operators to spread more awareness about the improved security and privacy features enabling the end consumer to effectively access mobile Internet services, especially in case of mobile money transfer or payment through mobile services,” Ernst & Young Global Partner Prashant Singhal said.
Among other things the survey found that owing to rising smartphone take-up over 1 in 3 mobile customers are using services such as web browsing, instant messaging and social media on their devices.
In addition to this, the survey found that 3G customers are a high-value segment and in India, and that the average monthly spend of postpaid and prepaid 3G users stand at $43 (approx Rs 2,282) and $27 (approx Rs 1,433) respectively. In the US, corresponding figures stand at $115 and $78.
As per the findings of a recent study, roughly 32 percent of smartphone users in India used their devices to make purchases. While 32 percent affirmed that they would pick their smartphones, 23 percent chose the laptop or desktops as the next choice. “It goes on to show how connected the mobile device is and plays a significant role in a purchase decision,” Havas Media Asia Pacific chief executive Vishnu Mohan said quoting the study 'Role of the connected device in the branding and buying cycle of a consumer'.
15.7 percent of those wanting to buy a smartphone, and 16 percent of tablet buyers chose not to visit a physical store for purchasing them.
On a related note, Google along with IPSOS and MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) released a report revealing the pattern of smartphone usage globally. To begin with, Indian smartphone users were found to be more active than their US counterparts. However, India has less than 50 percent of the number of smartphone users in the US. These days a smartphone isn’t just a calling and SMSing medium, and this survey will vouch for that. Smartphones these days cover a much larger base, they're used for — searches, news, watching TV, listening to music, and several other functions from an endless list. While tech savvy users know how to get the best out of their smartphones, there are several users who satiate themselves with just the basic functions that a phone has on offer. Not surprisingly hence, youth falling within the age bracket of 18 to 29 form the largest consumer bracket for smartphone usage.
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