Jio’s free data bonanza boosts India’s internet usage 29% in one quarter

If you have ever wondered what the impact of free data or low-tariffs is, just take a look at these numbers from India, where mobile internet usage grew 29% over the previous quarter in October-December 2016.

That’s from a joint report by market research firm Kantar IMRB and Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), which credits low-priced data offers for that growth:

Search, social, messaging as a category was the topmost engaged and the average time spent grew by more than 50 per cent. WhatsApp witnessed 150 per cent growth in usage over the previous quarter.

“The entry of Jio with its free 4G data offer redefined the mobile landscape by triggering an increase in data usage amongst consumers and also led to a fundamental restructuring of the telecom industry,” said Hemant Mehta, Managing Director, Media and Digital, Kantar IMRB, in a statement.

Other findings: women spent nearly 1.3 times more time on online shopping portals as compared to men. For all that, shopping was only the second-most engaged category, with entertainment taking the top spot.

Meanwhile, an IAMAI-IMRB report earlier this month said that Internet users in India are expected to be in the range of 450-465 million by June this year, up from 432 million in December last year.

free data internet growth

“While the growth of Internet usage in India is mainly being fueled by the rural sector, the urban user base is starting to show signs of levelling out… There are potential 750 million users still in rural India, if only they can be reached out properly,” it added.

Considering the free-data impact on subscriber usage seen here, it does beg the question: what impact would sponsored data have in this market and does the “down-side” of sponsored data really outweigh the positives?

More Here [techradar]

This article was originally published at PricingDataPlans

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