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Telecom operators fail to give clear guidelines on security and privacy on data services
TT Correspondent |  |  13 Oct 2012

Though increasing numbers of telecom users in India are playing a major catalyst in the growth of data services, mobile operators are not giving the clear guidelines to them on the value of new services and privacy and security risk thereby limiting the adoption of mobile data in the future.

According to Prashant Singhal, Partner in member firm of Ernst & Young Global, said, “It is imperative for mobile operators to spread more awareness about the improved security and privacy features enabling the end consumer to effectively access mobile internet services, especially in case of mobile money transfer or payment through mobile services”

He said that that 40% of the global users would try mobile payment services sooner if they had a greater understanding of service benefits. Also, there is fear of overspending which emerges as the number one reason for discontinuing using a smartphone service or not taking the option to use it after trying it out.
According to Ernst & Young survey across twelve countries highlights that navigating through mobile data price plans and new mobile internet services is proving increasingly complex and overwhelming to end-users. The report highlights that in India, 31% of the survey respondents clearly understand the mobile data tariffs offered by the mobile operators, which is highest as compared with countries like US 16%, UK 24%, China 13%, Australia 19% and Russia 24%.

The survey finds that 3G customers are a high-value segment, as in India the average monthly spend of post paid and prepaid 3G smartphone users stand at US$43 and US$27 respectively, while in US the corresponding figures stand at US$115 and US$78.

Rising smartphone take-up means that more than 1 in 3 mobile customers are using services such as web browsing, instant messaging and social media on their devices. A lack of alternative means of connectivity can be a further key influence, especially in developing nations.

As per the report, in India almost 54% of the respondents prefer unlimited mobile data for a fixed price per month, while for mobile apps 33% prefer free trial of limited content and option of payment of full version.

“Though, smartphone users are twice as likely to use data services as feature-phone owners, confusion over data tariffs, lack of guidance from operators on the value of new services and concerns over privacy and security risk limiting the adoption of mobile data in the future”, the report said.

The report highlights that smartphone usage is highest among young urban consumers, although they are not necessarily higher spenders, so 36 to 45-year-old customers have high potential if they are targeted and segmented effectively. Fewer than 1 in 5 mobile customers are regular users of video, VoIP and app store services. Also, poor signal strength significantly inhibits service take-up, thus improved network access capabilities can convert those considering services into users.

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13 Oct 2012(IST)  
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