How Mobile Internet is Helpful in Rural India?
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Rural regions are slowly but surely being pulled into the fold of mobile Internet is a boon. While the benefits of mobile Internet are still to influence these places as fully as it has urban regions, things are definitely changing. The availability of affordable mobile phones, especially Smartphones, means that rural India can tap into the vast world of the Internet whether it’s to make a net recharge or shop online.
Permeation of the Internet
According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Report, around 315 million Indians in rural India will connect to the Internet by 2020 compared to about 120 million in 2016. That is around 36 percent of online users in the country.
How mobile Internet is Used
The BCG study found that rural users mainly use the Internet for social networking and emailing. A small percentage utilize it for online shopping, researching products and reviewing them. According to research by IMRB and IAMAI, entertainment in the form of music and videos is the biggest reason for Internet use among the rural populace in India. Limited access to malls and cinemas fuel this demand, driving many app developers to train their focus on rural Internet users.
How Mobile Internet can Help
Mobile Internet offers other benefits to rural users. These are a few:
#1. E-governance: India is a large country and government services and schemes oftentimes fail to reach intended targets. Limited or no infrastructure, including poor road connectivity, can make even small tasks difficult to accomplish. With mobile Internet, citizens can apply for cards and schemes and avail other government facilities.
#2. Payment of Bills: India is slowly on its way to becoming a cashless economy. Customers can make online net recharge for their mobiles and their DTH connections. Electricity bills can be paid online as well. This removes the hassle of standing in line, not having enough change and having to travel far in the case of non-availability of kiosks.
#3. E-Commerce: One of the biggest uses of the mobile Internet in urban India is for e-commerce. Yet, the trend still has a long way to go in rural regions. However, awareness and Internet penetration is slowly changing the way the rural populace shops for certain products. There’s a growing number of farmers using online classifieds to post ads and trade products and even cattle.
#4. Social Media: Social media is huge in India and all over the world. The rural populace is beginning to enjoy what it has to offer. According to a 2015 report by IAMAI and IMRB, social media usage in rural India went up by 100 percent. It stated that there were 25 million users living in the rural belt.
Despite people making increasing use of facilities like mobile data recharge, there is still a lot of ground to cover and perceptions to change. Rural consumers are still hesitant to make purchases online because of lack of delivery and return facilities. Many also believe that e-commerce is unsafe. The BCG said that nearly 40 percent of rural consumers believe that their personal data is at risk. Another 30 percent feel that online products are inferior in quality while 25 percent find e-commerce websites and mobile apps complicated to use.
It’s a matter of time before rural India can enjoy the full benefits of mobile Internet. With the government taking steps to increase penetration, it’s possible that the goal will be realized before too long. Government also taking steps to encourage peoples for cashless payments via spreading advantages of cashless payments in digital World. From availing the best recharge offers to buy products and services, India is on its way to embracing the mobile Internet.
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