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DIGITAL: High demand, low prices push increase in data use

Mobile payments rise after demonetization


Increased demand for messaging services, social media platforms, and entertainment apps drove a sharp rise in data use, facilitated by affordability. Price promotions by telecom competitors lowered data costs, and handset suppliers, especially Chinese imports, offered sharp pricing.


Data use rose 16 percent just in the quarter that ended in March 2017, according to Kantar IMRB. Consumers spent 37 percent more time on their smartphones than watching TV. They engaged 4.5 hours daily with a smartphone, 3.3 hours daily watching TV, and two hours a week reading print media. In addition, for the first quarter of 2017:


-               The average time spent on search, social, and messaging platforms rose 42 percent;

-               News and media continued among the top five categories accessed on mobile; and

-               Consumers 25 years of age or older spent almost 43 percent more time than average on news and media sites.


Mobile payments increased sharply following demonetization, in November 2016. The average time spent on the mobile wallet Paytm increased 13 percent in the first quarter of quarter 2017.