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Study: 70% of Indians Own a Mobile Phone
Study: 70% of Indians Own a Mobile Phone
By: Sahil Shah

The increasing usage and dependability of mobile phones is undoubtedly the most impactful innovation of this time. This is a result of a large adoption of the innovation due to its useful attributes that is popular amongst the masses. From the ease of staying in touch with people to the multimedia options to gaming, etc. mobile phones have come a long way. Billions of dollars are invested in R&D to make this innovation far better than what it is right now.

The Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile report released by the World Bank on Tuesday says mobile communication has arguably had a bigger impact on humankind in a shorter period of time than any other invention in human history. It sees a big role for mobile applications in promoting development and stimulating economies. The report also suggests that, with the ownership of multiple subscriptions now common, mobile usage may outnumber the world's population in the near future.

Here are some statistics that will tell you how big the future of mobile is:

  • More than 30 billion apps were downloaded in 2011
  • Three-quarters of the world's population now have access to a mobile phone
  • India has 70 mobile subscriptions per 100 people growing at a phenomenal rate
  • The number of mobile phones in use has skyrocketed from less then 1 billion in 2000 to 6 billion in 2012.
  • The increasing adaptability of smartphones is on a growth prospectus that is never seen before
  • Mobile is at the forefront of all sorts of communication including Internet as well as data

The report also had some valid findings that stated developing countries to be more "mobile" than the developed ones. One of the best examples for the same is a 1.2 billion people country, India where more than 70% of users use a mobile phone.

Here are some statistics on the Indian mobile market and its advancements:

  • 96% of the mobile phones subscribers are prepaid users which means a lot of people have the disposable income to pre pay for their usage
  • 53% of households own a mobile phone in India, which largely is in metros, tier 1 and 2 cities
  • Cellphone networks currently cover 83% of Indians, a number that lags far behind other countries
  • Indian mobile users speak for 330 minutes per month on average, or 11 minutes per day.  This is at par with most of the averages in other countries
  • India's price per minute use is the lowest possible at $0.01. This makes the first point quite valid
  • Just under half of Indians use text messages on a regular basis
  • Only 3.3% of mobile users have access to the Internet on 2G & 3G networks
  • Smartphones access is also lowest in India compared to Singapore that has 90% smartphones
  • The surprising fact is that the average mobile data speed in India is among the highest of developing countries, and higher than China or the US. This show remarkable growth prospectus for mobile Internet in India

The report has several key takeaways for citing examples on effective mobile-based innovations from India. It states that the skills and entrepreneurship for ICT exists in India. It singles out Kerala's mobile government programme and the Aakash tablet for praise, which is a great innovation in itself. Electronic cash transfers by the Indian government is another area of growth in the developing country, according to the authors. The report clearly predicts the strength of mobile in the future as well. It states "In India alone, the mobile industry is expected to generate around 7 million indirect jobs during 2012."

From the kind of growth mobile is experiencing and it is easy to predict the future of mobile and mobile Internet is going to be very big, specially in the Indian market. Marketers have a greater platform to capitalize on which will be key to their communications in the near future. Do you think mobile will be the next big thing that will be chosen on the forefront by marketers? What do you think should be the strategies of digital marketers for mobile?

Do let us know in the comments section below your views on the present and future of mobile, mobile Internet and mobile marketing in India.