Smartphone Users, Here's What Is Swelling Your Mobile Bills

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 09, 2016


Smartphone users have seen an increase of up to 50% in their mobile internet data bills but are clueless about what is draining their data, according to a study.

Nearly two-thirds of Indian smartphone users have indicated a rise of more than 10% in their data charges. Twenty-one percent noticed an unbelievable surge of more than 50 percent in their data cost, said the study by internet calling app Nanu.

The popular mobile VoIP apps, unveiled some interesting facts about mobile data consumption patterns in India. The survey conducted over 3 days, witnessed participation from 14,154 Indians, from 23 key states, using smartphones with data connectivity and found that eight out of 10 Indians spending below Rs. 500 on their mobile data bills. In addition, 64 percent of Indian smartphone users do not exceed Rs.300 as their monthly spend for mobile data consumption. This indicates that majority of smartphone users in India are cautious about their mobile data spends.

However, majority of smartphone users in India are not aware about their data consumption source. The findings of the report suggest that 42 percent of Indians are not aware of the fact that their data is extensively consumed by video adverts even if they are not clicking on it. Furthermore, 25 percent of Indians are somewhat aware of the situation and upset by the brands consuming data through video adverts. Interestingly, only 17 percent of Indians are broadly aware of this, but never considered its impact on their mobile data expenses.

Even after observing such an adverse effect of video adverts on increasing data consumption, only 10 percent of Indians have installed ad blocking software in their phones, the study noted.

Read more: 60% Smartphone Owners In urban India Use Mobile Broadband

Nearly 90 percent of Indians have shown reluctance towards consistently clicking on mobile video adverts while 35 percent prefer to stay away from clicking video adverts. 54 percent prefer selective clicking on video adverts.

Commenting on the survey, Martin Nygate, Founder & CEO, nanu said,“With mobile advertising growing exponentially, there is an increasing possibility of consumers facing hidden data charges without their knowledge. We are glad that TRAI has made meaningful efforts in this direction and we are hopeful that the operators will join this movement to safeguard consumers’ interest.”

Excessive competition amongst marketers to promote their brands in order to get ‘top of the mind’ recall has resulted in uncontrolled usage of consumers’ data further increasing the amount of data billing. It’s important that marketers become more responsible towards their consumers and engage in non-intrusive ways of mobile advertising to prevent consumers’ data from getting consumed involuntarily, he added.

For example, according to a respondent from Punjab, I used to believe that the mobile operators were unfairly charging us. One month, my data billing increased by more than 60% and I got involved with an argument with my operator. Now, I realized that the offender is someone else. We are helpless and unfortunately, we have to burn through our data plans unless and until we see the regulator and operators acting on it.”

The survey findings also indicated that mobile marketing will remain ineffective in cultivating a positive brand-consumer relationship unless data consumption is made more transparent and the expenses are borne by the advertisers.