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IM Report Suggests Indian Telecoms Should Boost Web Browsing And Mobile Search

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mob browsMobile internet users have overtaken desktop users in the USA in the year 2015. The year 2015 is considered to be a tipping point in favour of mobile usage of internet worldwide and the number of mobile internet users is expected to continuously grow in the next 4- 5 years.

Indian internet consumers are ahead of this trend. See the graphic below. From 48 million users of the mobile internet in June 2012, the number is 306 million users in December 2015 – more than six times growth in 3.5 years! In June 2016 this number is estimated to be around 371 million users. The percentage of internet users through mobile to total internet users is also increasing at a rapid pace. From 35% in June 2012, this proportion has grown to 76% in December 2015. It is expected to reach a level of 80% by June 2016. This indicates an almost explosive growth in the number of internet mobile users in India.mob internet

India is the third largest mobile phone market in the world. The smart phone market in India is expected to grow 37% in 2016 as compared to 32% the last three years.

These statistics are very crucial to mobile phone manufacturers and telecom service providers in India as mobile internet offers great growth opportunities to these industries. We need to analyse this surge in the use of mobile internet in India.

Advantages and disadvantages of mobile internet

Advantages
  1. Extreme convenience of accessing the internet on the move.
  2. Combining other features of the mobile phone such as the camera, the mobile internet has the tremendous intrinsic advantage of uploading data at source. eg photographs can be uploaded from the work site on- line.
  3. The small size and light weight makes the mobile phone extremely portable to carry.
Disadvantages
  1. The form factor, ie. the small size of the mobile phone screen can be a limiting factor in the usability.
  2. Not all websites are designed for the mobile phone, so the rendering of a website on the mobile phone may not be very user friendly.
  3. There could be issues of continuous availability of wireless networks. The networks may not be available uninterruptedly.
  4. The speed of the data connection may vary depending upon the traffic, the carrier and the range.
  5. The CPU performance of the mobile phone may limit its usage. The speed of page loading may be low.
  6. Multiple browsing sessions are not possible.
  7. Mobile phones have a limited storage capacity.

But due to the recent advancements in mobile internet technologies, which aim at improving many of the above disadvantages, the usage of mobile phones is continuously increasing.

What are the Indians using their mobile phones for?

A recent survey carried out by Strategy Analytics indicated that amongst other services, Indian consumers are looking for increased use of Web Browsing, Mobile Search and Instant Messaging( IM) services from their mobile devices. In fact this survey revealed that 60% of Indian mobile phone users used their mobile phones for these services.

Thus by focussing on improving these services, the telecom service providers and mobile phone manufacturers can get brand loyalty from the increasing number of mobile internet consumers.

We will analyse the opportunities in these services that can be leveraged by telecom providers and mobile phone manufacturers. The underlying objective should be making the mobile internet experience even better than the desktop internet experience leveraging its advantages and mitigating the disadvantages through the use of improved technologies.

Mobile Phones Manufacturers

The current surge in the use of internet on mobile phones presents a sea of opportunities for innovation and providing value added features in mobile phones.  We will see a few of them.

Memory

Increased use of the internet coupled with self- generated videos and photographs on the move require a large memory. Mobile phones now come with memories as large as 128 GB- almost the same size as the memory of a laptop or a desktop. So the main memory should never be a constraint to store movies, videos and other documents.

Cloud Storage

Manufacturers are providing cloud based storage facilities. This helps in easy storage and retrieval of photographs, documents and videos. Eg Apple provides the i Cloud for data storage with upto 5GB of free data storage. Motorola utilizes Google drive for data storage. So storage is not a problem for the mobile internet.

Processors

Manufacturers nowadays offer 64 bit processors to mobile phones. The processor performance is nearly same as that of a desktop processor.

Screen resolution & Camera

With greatly improved screen resolutions, mobile phone experience is getting better. So also the camera specifications. This greatly improves the usability of the mobile phone.

Security

Since a lot of sensitive information can be downloaded onto the mobile phone, mobile phone security is the need of the hour. Mobile phones are offering advanced security features such as ‘finger print security’- no need to key in passwords or pattern. Thus security issues cannot be a deterrent to internet usage on mobile phones.

Mobile Apps

Mobile Apps are a breakthrough innovation in internet mobility. These apps are light weight and are created for very specific purposes. So the form factor issue is addressed. Have a look at the irctc ticket booking app. Its clutter free design, clear call all to actions and bold fonts make it very easy to book railway tickets on the mobile phones.

irctc

Or look at this app to generate and scan bar codes. See the bold and very clear icons .scanner

Manufacturers like Apple have created hundreds of useful apps for reading books, watching movies, listening to music, performing useful functions such as calculator etc. These apps make the mobile phone experience simple to use and enjoyable.Manufacturers like Motorola provide standard email apps like Gmail, Google search app or third party apps like Flipkart e- books on their mobile phones. Other very useful apps is Google Maps.

Thus mobile phone manufacturers provide pre- loaded apps and app stores like Google app stores from where the users can download many different mobile apps.

Instant Messaging services such as Whatsapp and hike are becoming more popular as are the social media such as Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn etc. Manufacturers preload these apps on their mobile phones.

mobile apps

Thus by making use of hardware and software technologies, the mobile phone manufacturers can greatly enhance their product offerings. The first movers offering these features will drive customer loyalty.

Telecom Service Providers

The telecom service providers should provide extensive reach with their networks. They should also provide better quality of network and newer generation technologies such as 4G. While these are capital intensive strategies, they can enter into tactical alliances with Instant Messaging service providers, email service providers, app developers, software vendors, news channels and mobile phone manufacturers. They could give specialised services and also packaged rates and deals in collaboration with them to end customers. Here mobile web analytics plays a crucial role into analysing the usage pattern of news, emails, social media and instant messaging of consumers.

atand t

Thus by providing value added services, the Telecom service providers can get loyalty from end consumers.

carrier offers

Learnings

With great advancements in mobile internet technologies, the market for mobile internet is growing rapidly in India. This presents great opportunities to mobile phone manufacturers and telecom service providers. Manufacturers and carriers that enhance user experience in web browsing, mobile search and Instant messaging will get consumer loyalty and hence market share.

Image Courtesies

  1. att.com
  2. airtel.in
  3. irctc.co.in
  4. dazeinfo

Data courtesy

Strategic Analytics

  • web-analytics

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