The Ericsson ConsumerLab released a report in April this year, which looked to understand the diverse behaviour and needs of urban India’s smartphone internet users. They surveyed a total of 15,000 households and spoke to 4,550 smartphone users from 33 cities.
Here are the five salient findings of this survey:
- Indian mobile broadband sector is evolving: Demographically, smartphone internet users have increased from age 31-40 onwards (from 10%) in 2013 to (29%) in 2015. This has increased in the subsequent age bands too – from 10%-12% (in the 41-50 age category), and from 1%-4% in the 50 plus category.Also a surprise finding was that, less affluent and less educated people seem to have increased their mobile data usage from 38% to 45% in the same timeframe (2013-15). Meanwhile more affluent and better educated people had decreased their mobile data usage in the same period from 62% (2013) to 55% (2015). Overall, urban smartphone penetration is at 34%, which is one in three users only, and this is divided between 14% as 2G users and 20% as 3G users.
- Barriers to broadband exist: These include issues like users thinking mobile broadband is expensive (88%), not useful (53%), no difference in 2G and 3G speeds (48%), unavailability of value-for-money plans (36%), and don’t know how to use smartphone/digital services (30%). Lack of awareness makes up 15%.
- Smartphone users are using more than chat apps and instant messaging: A large number of users are looking to use their mobiles, in the next six months, for e-commerce (58%), paying bills (52%), streaming music (49%), paying online games (48%), navigation and cloud storage (45%), and banking (43%). Currently, users are streaming videos (71%), social networking (61%), browsing (46%), e-mailing (45%), and streaming music (40%) on their phones.
- Different locations have different challenges: A high number (68%) of users had issues with apps usage (session failures while commuting and when outdoors). Web page loading time, quality, and reliability issues when indoors. bothered 63% of users. Also 62% of users in mid-size and small cities faced inconsistent app speed when outdoors.
- Personalising the mobile broadband experience will help: This is because a variety of people use this service – ranging from home-makers to tech enthusiasts (and everyone else in between) and a high percent (55%) of these urban consumers stated they don’t understand data plans! Only 16% said it was “somewhat easy” and 10% felt it was “very easy”.Also ‘progressive aspirers’ and ‘technosumers’ were 55%-60% more likely to shift from 2G to 3G, followed by home-makers and ‘image conscious socialites’ at 45%.Besides, every user segment has their own requirements. For instance: home-makers wanted good indoor coverage, unlimited usage of frequently used apps, and customer support. Meanwhile, senior citizens wanted help to use their smartphone’s features, good indoor coverage, and account management.
So the main challenges for mobile broadband players are clear. Users want better network quality and more personalised services need to be offered, as all users have varied needs, which only targeted offers can address. This will enhance customer loyalty too for brands.
Graphics are from the report.