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Mobile Data: ‘At 11.2 GB/user a month, India’s consumption far ahead of others; prices among lowest in world’

India’s data use, which has seen a compound annual growth rate of 93 per cent between 2015 and 2019, has also been driven by availability and consumption of vast regional content, the report said.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: February 28, 2020 3:01:44 am
India cheapest data rates, internet data rates India, WiFi Dabba,WiFi plans. internet plans, affordable internet, internet, data plans in india, In its annual report on broadband usage patterns, Nokia said that the overall data traffic for the country went up by as much as 47 per cent in 2019, primarily driven by continued 4G usage.

The availability of low cost data plans and an influx of affordable 4G-enabled handsets has pushed India’s consumption of data ahead of other developed countries such as China, France, Spain, Germany, South Korea, and Japan, telecom equipment maker Nokia said in a report Thursday.

India’s data use, which has seen a compound annual growth rate of 93 per cent between 2015 and 2019, has also been driven by availability and consumption of vast regional content, the report said.

In its annual report on broadband usage patterns, Nokia said that the overall data traffic for the country went up by as much as 47 per cent in 2019, primarily driven by continued 4G usage.

The mobile data usage in India is likely to increase further as broadband penetration approaches the level of similar developed geographies, Nokia India chief marketing officer Amit Marwah said, adding that domestic data price — at about Rs 7 per GB — continued to remain among the lowest across the globe.

“Is there affordability enough to take Rs 7/GB market to eight or nine rupees? I think yes. We have seen some tariff increase from the operators and we still need to see an impact of that increase on consumption. So far, it has not been, and we have not seen it happen,” Marwah said.

In India, growth of mobile data consumption in both 3G and 4G spectrum has seen a spurt with the advent of country-wide over-the-top (OTT) platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and other smaller regional content players.

On an average, Indians spend as much as 70 minutes per day on these OTT platforms, and the average duration of each such watching session is as high as 40 minutes, Nokia said in its report.

“We believe the migration of subscribers to 4G will continue to drive broadband growth in the country. The upcoming 4K/8K videos and Industry 4.0 solutions that promise to enhance productivity and bring down expenses for the industries across different verticals, demand ultra high speed and extremely low latency,” Marwah said.

At 11.2 gigabytes (GB) per month and a mobile phone penetration of only about 45 per cent, data usage in India for 2019 was far ahead of other countries such as China, where the consumption is 9 GB per month and mobile phone penetration is nearly 100 per cent.

In other countries such as France, which has a mobile phone penetration of almost 90 per cent, the mobile data consumption stood at 7 GB per month, Nokia’s report said.

For Germany and Spain, with mobile penetration at nearly 110 per cent each, the mobile data consumption per user per month stood at 2 and 3 GB, respectively.

The study by Nokia, however, excludes the internet usage on WiFi, and therefore may have missed accurate readings in countries such as Korea and Japan, which have huge free public WiFi infrastructures.

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