There's no doubt that prices of the mobile internet have come down by a huge margin in the last 18 months, courtesy of Reliance Jio's free data services and affordable tariff plans. Today, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said that mobile internet increased by 93% while data usage per user surged by over 25 times in three years to 2017. "Cheapest tariff globally -- Rs 33 per GB in 2014 to Rs 21 per GB as on September 2017, tariff reduction of 93%," DoT posted on Twitter earlier today. It all started with Reliance Jio's entry to the Indian market back in September 2016. The Mukesh Ambani-led telco managed to offer a GB of data at just Rs 4 per day. And it's pretty much obvious that with falling mobile data rates, data usage also grew by a massive number. "Average data usage per subscriber grew 25 times from 62 MB per month in 2014 to 1.6 GB per month in 2017," DoT tweeted.
That said, the mobile data consumption in India has increased multi-fold and thanks to Reliance Jio, the mobile data consumption in India is now the highest in the world at 1.3 million GB per month. And the per month usage of India is more than combined data usage in the US and China, the DoT said.
Also, the craze for affordable 4G services also forced customers to get a new 4G handset, which in turn resulted in the larger penetration of smartphone in India. The 4G Smartphone shipments in India more than doubled from 190 million to 390 million during the period. The Internet users also increased by about 66% from 251 million to 429 million in June 2017. These numbers are from 2014 to 2017.
"The broadband access in the country increased from 61 million subscribers in March 2014 to 325 million subscribers in September 2017," the DoT further tweeted. DoT also confirmed that telecom operators managed to double the mobile base stations during the three-year period from 7.9 lakh in May 2014 to 16.8 lakh by 2017-end. Furthermore, telcos will be working hard to expand the coverage by adding more mobile sites during the FY19.
As per Trai's latest report, there are 445.9 million Internet subscribers at the end of December 2017.