Driven by low-priced data offers, mobile internet usage in India was up by 29% in the period October-December 2016, over the previous quarter, a joint report by market research firm Kantar IMRB and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) said on Thursday.
Search, social, messaging are the categories that saw the most engagement, with the average time spent growing by more than 50%. WhatsApp witnessed 150% 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.
While women spent nearly 1.3 times more time on online shopping portals as compared to men, it was entertainment that toppled shopping to become the second-most engaged category.
“The huge jump in mobile usage is not only propelled by free data plans but demonetisation policy also is a significant contributor in driving news and media in the top five,” added Preeti Desai, country manager, MMA.