Sat, Jun 03, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Mobile Internet usage in India increases ninefold


Mobile Internet usage in India has increased ninefold in a single year, after the launch of a new operator sparked a telecom price war, a report said.

Indians used nearly 1.3 billion gigabytes of data in March, compared with about 150 million in the same period last year, according to the Internet Trends 2017 report, published this week by US investment fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.


The explosion in data use comes after the nation’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, shook up the telecoms market with the launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd in September last year.

The 4G telecom operator launched with an offer of free service for the rest of the year, followed by vastly cheaper data plans and free voice calls for life.

That led to a dramatic fall in the average cost of mobile Internet in India, which the study said was US$1.90 in March, compared with US$4.40 three years earlier.

By March, Jio had 108 million subscribers and was charging only US$0.17 per gigabyte of data.


Despite regulatory and technical obstacles, India’s mobile Internet market has huge growth potential, with hundreds of millions expected to get online over the next decade using smartphones.

The nation has 1 billion mobile phone users, but nearly three-quarters of its population lacks access to the Internet.

Last year, only 350 million Indians were able to go online.

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