Lack of content options, slow download speed due to low bandwidth availability and the steeply priced general packet radio service (GPRS) enabled handsets have been a few reasons contributing to low mobile internet usage in India. Some content accessed by subscribers in calendar year 2008 that experienced a huge demand includes news, game downloads, music downloads, and video downloads. However, compared to the previous year, a significant lower percentage was recorded in ring tone downloads, while the interest in location information, social networking and sports remained about the same.
Girish Trivedi, deputy director, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, South Asia and Middle East, said, It would be the subscribers with high GPRS usage who will initially upgrade to 3G. Eventually, mobile phones would to be transformed from communication enablers to lifestyle enablers for a section of consumers. Availability of mobile internet at high speed (2mbps) with 3G would expand the market size and reach to rural areas. Internet is either not available or speed is extremely poor in the rural areas and hence 3G would help drive mobile Internet penetration.
"In India, we expect a broad range of 3G applications to co-exist. These applications include entertainment and utility like mobile internet, 3G data cards, m-email, social networking, m-search, mobile advertisement, m-commerce, m-banking, gaming, news, video and music downloads, etc, says Piyush Choudhary, an analyst with Centrum Broking.
The hitch amongst the mobile subscribers for activation, usage and finally pricing of the GPRS service has resulted in its stunted growth. Also the insufficient spectrum available has led to slow speed and low quality of service (QoS) within existing GRPS users," Trivedi said. According to Choudhary, lack of marketing initiatives from operators due to their focus on network expansion and voice penetration has additionally resulted in poor mobile internet usage in India.
Active, non-active mobile internet subscriber base stands at a 88 million
Lack of content options, slow download speed contribute low usage