Just like other means of living like electricity and food, data is now becoming an integral part of every Indian. How do we know this? The data presented by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) speaks for itself. In the latest report which the telecom regulator has shared with the public, the sector watchdog has compiled the data available until September 2019. In this report, Trai has revealed that the data usage figure, which was only 828 million GB back in 2014 has no climbed up to 46,404 million GB during the year 2018. Now, since the data for 2019 has only been compiled till September 2019, we cannot speak for the entire year, but looking at the data surely reveals that India is all set to surpass the previous figure by a large margin. This year, India has already consumed upwards of 54,917 million GBs of data till September. Also, the wireless subscribers which were only 281.58 million at the end of year 2014, have now come up to be 664.80 million at the end of September 2019. This growth makes up for a 36.36% annual growth in the wireless data subscribers.
Data Demand Grew By More than Ten Times in Three Years
The Trai remarked about this, "The volume of total wireless data usage increased from 828 million GB during the year 2014 to 46,404 million GB during the year 2018-19. The wireless data usage in the year 2019 is expected to surpass the previous year usage by a significant margin as reflected by usage of 54,917 million GB until September 2019.” As per the analysts, the recorded data usage for 2018 was 46,406 million GB data, whereas, in 2017, it was 20,092 million GB. Before 2016, only 4642 million GB data was used in the country, thus showing that in the three year period, data consumption in India has doubled.
Introduction of LTE Major Catalyst in the Process
As per the telecom regulatory authority, the data usage in India has grown by a massive margin owing to the entry of the telecom service provider which has brought the 4G only network in the country based on the Long Term Evolution (LTE) or the 4G technology. Further, after the entry of this telecom operator, other operators have also followed the lead and then implemented a 4G network on a much larger scale to match up to the competition. Trai also said that the gradual adaption of this technology is further expected to grow the data usage in the coming days.
Affordability Becomes Another Major Pillar
Two of the major pillars behind the growth of data usage in India has been the shift from 2G to 4G in large parts of the country and the availability of affordable smartphones. After the entry of the 4G only operator in the country, there has been a very sharp decline in the country, although it has happened at the cost of the financial health of the telecom industry, but the demand for data is not cold at all. This affordability of smartphones and consequently, very cheap data has led to high demands. Further, the content which was once only available in a handful of language has crossed many barriers and is now available in regional languages as well, which is another factor behind more data consumption.