Feature: India's love story with mobile phones continues to grow

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-19 13:45:17|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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NEW DELHI, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Around the world, if India is the fastest growing economy, it also has scripted the fascinating story in the communication world through deep penetration of mobile networks.

As per statistics, a million new users are added to the mobile communication network each year, more significantly at the grassroots level. India's love story with mobile phones continues to grow.

A look at the milestones solely achieved due to mobile phone communication reveals that this growth story is just a beginning of some greater action rather than a climax in itself.

Firstly, it is expected that the billion mobile subscribers will switch to smartphones in the next few years. The smartphones market has already grown by over 15 percent each year, adding in 27 million units in last year alone.

What this has done for the economy is to encourage foreign direct investment, bringing in key players from across to world to invest in the communication market in India.

For instance, the Chinese smartphone companies that initially used to be vary of investing in India, have now taken four out of the five top slots in the smartphone segment of the country. Names like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo are familiar ones on the market due to strong local potential, making India the fastest growing smartphone market in the world.

"It's a little device and look at its outreach. It is the people's window to the world and the growth opportunity in this sector is huge. India has overtaken the United States in the smartphone market and we are expecting a 200-million user base by the end of 2017. Needless to say, the consumer is the clear winner here," said Saifi Ali, a head researcher associated with a leading telecom operator located in Gurgaon on the outskirts of the national capital.

At the consumer level, due to competition cost of phones have drastically come down. Smartphones are easily available to the common man now and quite under the affordable price tags. This is the thrilling next wave for a generation that grew up with landline phones and for the ones who cannot imagine life without smartphones.

With the exploding growth in usage of internet data and its access across the country, millions of Indians are now connected with the world at the touch of their fingers.

In turn, this means that phones are now being used for information, livelihood, education, employment and even shopping and commerce. With the growth in data usage, people have moved to using their smartphones for every single detail and activity of their daily lives. This has put telecom operators under pressure to offer competitive prices for data users.

With the launch of Reliance Jio last year, heated action is being seen in both voice tariffs and data pricing.

With the affordability of smartphones and internet, everyone now wants to be online. "What better could I have asked for. I get limited pocket money and in the last six months, life has changed with the way I use my smartphone. Internet has become truly affordable and I don't have to search for hotspots from other people's phone. I can study and do everything else to keep myself busy on my phone," said Sameera Sheikh, a 19-year-old undergraduate student of Delhi University.

Take the case of education, smartphones have brought thousands of mobile phone applications related to education at the hands of the users. Teachers, parents and students now feel confident in mobile learning both in the classroom and at home. These apps are the technological advancements that offer aspirants videos and pictures in the realm of knowledge and education.

These applications come in astute quality and features that add a great value to the learning of students. Some of the well-known educational institutions in the country are targeting to reach their students and parents through the use of their own personalised apps.

New-age livelihood is another area that only smartphones have exclusively given a headstart to. There are several app start-ups which saw the light of the day thanks to the mobile phone revolution across the world. Today, young graduates, both men and women, are launching creative, out-of-the-box apps aspiring to reach to the customers in myriad ways.

"That said, we have now groceries, food, cabs, fashion and clothing and imported products at the touch of a button. For the young generation, the medium of fun' has also turned to phone -- one can watch movies, serials, music and everything else while on the phone even while being on the move. Even dating and matrimony is now available on the phone, through applications that solely target these customers," said Parag Ghose, a Delhi-based telecom expert.