Mobile Web Requests India ???

First it was Admob and now it is Russ with Mowser (long ago it was Scott Rafer) who is saying that India generates a large number of mobile web requests.

This is quite very puzzling to me as it is to many. I have never witnessed use of GPRS/WAP or have not used it myself much (which by no means is any indicator as I also don’t use CRBT, wallpapers etc). Personally what I do with GPRS connection is check mails and occasionally read blogs and that happenes only when I am travelling.

I am trying hard to find out who are these people generating so many requests and what are they looking for. Just yesterday I happended to read a slightly old post from Amit @ Labnol about about how to use Mowser and other proxy based mobile content adatation engines to view regular websites through dialup connections. More than one third of the 9.2 million (pdf) internet users that TRAI estimates (pdf) India has are dialup users.

Many of these requests that Russ is seeing could be regular web users on dialup using mowser to enhance their browsing experience. (if it is really the case then I think it is really cool – IMHO it’s an Indian Jugaad). Russ did you check the hits that you are getting are really from mobile browsers ?


  1. Santosh says:

    Wow! Even if you accounted for the dial up users, India is still surprisingly ahead – I think the traffic is skewed heavily for this application?

  2. sanyam says:

    i cannot belive the numbers :-O

    How many mobiles do we see who have browsers in the first place and those people who have such mobiles, do they actually use gprs?

    I can accept some traffic from india but these are stragely very very high numbers and that too just from mowser.

  3. Rajan says:

    There are more than 50 million phones that have browser(GPRS capable) for sure. The question of do they actually use it is the pertinent one. I don’t know but these numbers seem to suggest so and I believe these numbers which are taken out of actual logs.

    I chatted with Miker at Admob and he said that these numbers are very much true and I also trust the posts made by Russ. IMO they are bazillion times more reliable than any IDG/Gartner reports.

    Now I am just now trying to make sense of what these requests are looking for and where they are eventually landing ?

  4. Banibrata Dutta says:

    Mowser, OperaMini etc. (i.e. content adaptors) are most favoured (I’d tend to assume) or useful in fairly bandwidth limited browsing environments. Given that India not only has one of the cheapest mobile data-transfer rates but also is restricted largely to GPRS as the underlying transport technology, there-by limiting transfer speeds. Which might explain that people (and we have lots and lots of people in India, of course), who might “experiment” (rather than, use regularly — I’d guess, once again), web-browsing using mobile devices, over slow networks, at rather cheap rates. I’d assume that Mowser (or OperaMini) geographic usage stats are not single yard-sticks to measure global mobile-webbrowsing usage, in true sense. Look at the number of countries having higher speed internet (EDGE to begin with, and 3G / 3.5G). Many of these countries have started offering bundled &/ flat-rate data-plans only recently making it truely affordable. As soon as subscribers in these countries start using more capable smart-phones (with bigger displays), native browsers would most probably overtake the content-adaptors.

    Also, the usage of less-capable handsets (e.g. with smaller display area), and on slow speed networks (sa. GPRS), may be also through Laptops, which would not use the mowsers. I’d assume a rather large part of the mobile-enterprise customers to fall in this catagory.

    So, I’m kind of not too surprised at this stats (I think those can be explained), but doubt that they are a global and wide-spectrum measure.

  5. Sameer says:

    Dear rajan. i guess we share acommon question on who are these users and how are they paying through their noses for high GPRS plans. iam right now studying indinmarket for launching Rocketalk a mobile phone basd social network in india. andthe biggest challenge is that no body knows how many actual GPRS users re there in india. and of all the people who are what are these people using t for, i guess here in india people confuse even going to an operators walled garden wap site say airtel live as a GPRS use and count it in the gprs users. when TRAI came out with the figure of 38miilion gprs users i guess they counted for every erson who has even gone on operatrs wap sites for downloadng a ringtone or a wallpaper. what are your veiws on this. can you guide where is the best ace to understand the GPRS market in India

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