Increasing disposable incomes have boosted willingness to spend on value added services among the upwardly mobile citizens, but network coverage and customer service remain the uncompromising needs to stay always connected.
According to the study, 57% of the respondents who have changed their operators attribute it to poor network coverage.
"Consumers will be inclined to choose a connectivity provider which best meet their evolving requirements, regardless of the underlying technology," says Deloitte spokesperson.
About 30% of respondents across all age groups showed great inclination to combine services of multiple operators. Some people would like to have voice plan from one operator and data from another. With market preference of customers across segments shifting towards dual SIM phones, the category is likely to see maximum growth over some time.
The survey, conducted among 2028 respondents from India as part of the 17-nation study by Deloitte in India, shows that mobiles have surpassed their primary role of voice communications and have become more of an infotainment device for users. In rural India, benefits of using mobile phones range from mobility and convenience to easy access to customized content.
Use of mobile phones has created new opportunities to make a living, to be more productive and hence earn more, for migrants from rural areas to the cities.
The survey shows that 3G trumps other medium like fixed line and Wi-Fi for connectivity. About 74% respondents say they would change operator if their current operator did not provide 3G access.
Also, 67% would prefer to use 3G on prepaid plan. Consumers are ready to pay premium price for 3G services if they get faster speed and better network coverage.
The most popular services people look from 3G include live TV, access to high-speed internet, receive/send emails, make video call and download music tracks, video of entertainment, news, current affairs and sport content.
Deloitte in India believes that mobile will give advertisers a platform to target consumers in a specific geographical area and demographic segment instead of mass message broadcasting.
Though not significant, the response to mobile adverts is encouraging. While 80% respondents received mobile adverts, only 36% among them took action.
The seemingly unstoppable rise of smartphones is allowing mobile adverts to become even more visually compelling. Nearly 87% respondents having smartphone access the internet through their smartphones.
Millions of living rooms now boast of more phones than cushions. However, it is the rural market that will witness maximum focus of the companies in the future months. Teledensity in rural markets still stands at 33% at the end of March 2011, so the room for growth is still huge.
Some key non-entertainment services will be in the areas of governance, commerce, health and education, with a need for customization according to the demographic segment.
Deloitte in India feels that operators should provide access to business-critical information in at least 10 languages in rural areas which directly result in supporting the livelihood of the farmers and fishermen.
There is adequate demand for Mobile Value Added Service (MVAS), but operators need to understand the unique needs of Indian consumer and innovate and promote adoption.
The top four to five products such as game-based applications, music or ringtone download continue to form close to 80% of VAS revenues, and have become easily replicable.
While the computer and internet empowered urban India, it is the mobile which is bridging the digital divide and making it the perfect medium for delivering a variety of services and content to the common man through MVAS.