While internet connectivity across India is on the rise with excellent pace; thanks to the rapid growth in smartphone adoption, internet connectivity is still a major pain issue. Results of a recent study by Ericsson on development of India’s mobile broadband landscape show that nearly half of our country’s smartphone users don’t find any major difference in 2G and 3G data speeds. And since they find no considerable difference, they don’t find any value in purchasing more expensive 3G data packs.
While 3G should obviously have performance superior than 2G, in our country it’s still not happening. The average page load time on a 3G mobile internet connection should be 3 seconds, but it’s 10 seconds in our country. Consistency is also a problem, as 3G connectivity provided by most Indian telecom operators isn’t consistent and problems of frequent disconnection are common. The report, however, doesn’t declare any standard data speeds that users should get from a 3G internet connection.
Given below are the major highlights from the report:
- The smartphone and mobile broadband adoption is on a steady rise in our country. Even people from middle and senior age groups are now finding value in mobile, and one in three people of urban India are now using smartphones.
- But barriers to mobile broadband still remain. 48% of users who use mobile internet do not find any major difference in 2G and 3G data speeds.
- While social networking and chatting apps account for the most part of services used on smartphones, entertainment apps make the second most widely used app category with 70% of mobile internet users streaming videos and 40% streaming music every week.
- Adoption of mobile financial services is also increasing quickly. These include e-commerce services, banking services, navigation services and cloud storage services. Around 36% of mobile internet users in India use financial services on their mobile devices every week.
- Network performance still remains a major challenge. Around 63% of Indian smartphone users experience forever-lasting loading times, session failures and disconection problems while indoors. But surprisingly, the world out there is even more bad with 68% of mobile users experiencing the same difficulties while outdoors!
- And most interestingly, 55% of smartphone users in India don’t understand data plans! They often tend to be unable to select the plan that best suits their needs.
These challenges present the significant amount of work that needs to be done to make Prime Minister’s dream of Digital India come true. Without network densification and optimization these issues can’t be resolved, and these issues need to be resolved soon India has to be tranformed into Digital India. Let’s hope for the best!