NEW DELHI: Vodafone is the most popular mobile brand among young Indian consumers, although loyalty levels in this sector remain limited.

Concrea, the agency, surveyed members of its 10,000-strong student panel, all of which were drawn from six major cities and aged between 18 and 22 years old.

Overall, 15% of respondents had previously switched telecoms operators once, 25% reported utilising two different providers, reaching 40% when this figure rose to four, and 20% for between four and six.

Prepaid options are still the favoured type of package adopted by this audience at present, according to Concrea.

Elsewhere, 40% of those polled signed up with their current brand three years ago, standing at two years for another 20%, and a year or less for a further 15%.

Just 10% proved loyal for four years, and 15% had stayed with the same company for an even longer period.

Vodafone was the leading wireless player, typically because of reasons related to quality, alongside the strength of its brand.

The primary factors which encouraged consumers to stick with a specific network were coverage, the ease of recharging devices, and the potential selection of value-added services.

Looking to possible future trends, 90% of interviewees agreed they would use a 3G connection, offering faster web browsing, if it was included with their handset.

However, a majority appeared disinterested in actively making such a transition, apparently at least in part as marketing messages have failed to leave an impression.

"None of them could sense a clear advantage in the messaging being done by the various brands," the study said.

Equally, many subscribers can access WiFi connections at home, college or university, or in social locations.

Mobile internet usage is also generally driven by "necessity" rather than constituting a leisure pursuit, and existing data transfer speeds were usually perceived as adequate.

"But the proposition of getting 3G-enabled handsets on subscribing to 3G services from a mobile subscriber seemed like an exciting value proposition for many youngsters," the report added.

The ability to carry the same number onto a new network, recently introduced in the country, received muted interest in the main, although older students set to relocate for work purposes displayed greater enthusiasm.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff