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Rural mobile phone users in India overtake urban: Juxt study

Delhi-based market research and consulting specialists JuxtConsult have just released their study: India Mobile 2011: ‘Mobile phone users in India and their mobile usage behavior and preferences’ – said to be most ‘recent and representative’ survey-based estimates of mobile phone users in urban and rural India  We bring you the key findings of the Juxt study  in bullet points: 103 million mobile users added in last 1 year ( as of May/ June 2011). Mobile subscribers (user base) in India grew 34% to reach 407 million (from 303 million last year). ‘Active’ mobile subscriptions (active SIM base) grew 37% to reach 487 million (from 355 million last year). Average ‘users’ per household remain at 2.05; Average ‘active SIMs’ per user is up marginally at 1.20. While the ‘individual’ level penetration is up at 34%, tele-density is up at 40% (from 31% last year). Almost 60% of all Indian households are still ‘single’ mobile user households. User base of active ‘multiple SIM’ users grew by 20 million (44%) to touch 65 million.
Other findings:
Rural India overtakes urban India on the base of both ‘users’ as well as ‘active SIMs’…saw higher increases in both ‘penetration’ & ‘tele-density’ (as compared to urban India) ... 218.9 million rural versus 188.4 urban mobile subscriptions.
Usage flattens, spends drop The daily average talk time on ‘most used connection’ is up marginally at 24.7 minutes (from 23.5 minutes last year). However, the average monthly spends on ‘most used connection’ went down 11% to `215 (from `242 last year). On an average, rural users claim to spend about 17% less than the urban users. ‘Outgoing STD’, ‘call waiting’ and ‘domestic roaming’ remain the most used services. Mobile users surfing internet on their mobile phones grew slowly (25%) to reach only 14.4 million (3.5% of all Indian mobile users). However, 101 million mobile connections (21%) have used ‘data’ services. 9 out of 10 internet using mobile users remain ‘dual device’ users (accessing internet on both mobile and PC).

Handsets There are 446 million ‘active’ mobile handsets in use (up 26% from 355 million last year).Average handsets per user has gone down marginally to 1.1 (1.17 last year). 91% mobile users are ‘single’ active mobile handset users. Almost 5% of all mobile handsets in use (22 million) are ‘Dual SIM’ handsets. 82% of all mobile handsets are claimed to have been bought at below `3,000 price point. Claimed ‘average’ handset buying price in rural areas (at `2,078) is approx. 15% lower than urban areas average buying price. 80% of the ‘most used handsets’ have games on them, 55% have FM and 18% have a camera. Only 6% are internet enabled (WAP/GPRS/EDGE/Wi-Fi). 15% mobile users use handset ‘menu’ in local Indian languages
Mobile User Profile ‘25-35 years’ and ‘13-18 years’ age groups have gained user base the most in last 1 year. 2 out of 3 mobile users are ‘employed’; 70% of these employed ‘head’ their households. Though their proportion declined marginally, ‘housewives’ still form the second biggest occupational group of mobile users in India. Almost 1 in 7 mobile user is a ‘student’. 2/3rd of all mobile users are educated completely in ‘vernacular’ languages . ‘Lower income class (below Rs 6,250 monthly ) becomes the single largest ‘mass’ of Indian mobile users (40%)

Methodology: A large-scale land survey was conducted to estimate and profile the Indian mobile users. The survey covered ‘towns’ and ‘villages’ of all population strata in all the mainland states and Union Territories in India (covering all the key 80 of the total 88 regions in India as classified by NSSO) – all 23 telecom circles were covered extensively. The selection of towns and villages was done to attempt a best possible but practical ‘geographical’ coverage of the Indian population.
User-ship estimates based on a land survey conducted among 201,839 individuals spread across all 4 regions of the country between Apr-Mid June 2011 (covering 32,876 households in 104 cities and 15,889 households in 766 villages). Estimates cover both ‘regular’ and ‘occasional’ users as well as both ‘computer’ and ‘mobile’ based internet users.  
(A companion study on Internet in India is separately reported in these pages. )

Aug 25 2011