Why Data is Cheaper in India Compare to other Countries

In 2018, India had over 480 million internet users across the country. This figure was projected to grow over 660 million users by 2023, indicating a big market potential in internet services for the south Asian country. In fact, India was ranked as the second largest online market worldwide in 2019, coming second only to China. The number of internet users was estimated to increase in both urban as well as rural regions, indicating a dynamic growth in access to internet.

India is a developing country and soon it will capture 650 million people who will be using internet. That’s a huge. if we compare it with other countries even in United States, Europe all together can’t beat this number. But why India is growing ways faster than other countries, the main reason is the data rate is cheap in India. And if I will tell you, don’t get surprised that India ranked first in the world for the cheapest data rate it cost you around 9 cents for 1 GB of 4G data just imagine.

There are some points I will be covering and will figure out why data rate is cheap in India compare to other countries. Also, will be talking about the impact India making around the world in digitization

Data rate India Vs Other

According to survey it has been said that 1 GB of mobile data cost $0.26 in India, compared with $12.37 in the US, $6.66 in the UK, and a global average of $8.53.

But many Indian users said they were paying less than $0.10 a GB. From this what is clear is that mobile data in India is many times cheaper than elsewhere. But it might.

A consultant with an investment firm in UK, said he pays the price of three to four cups of coffee a month, or $13, for his mobile service. That gives unlimited UK voice and texts, with EU roaming for voice and up to 3GB of data. He doesn’t need more, because of free WiFi everywhere. But sometimes free WiFi is very risky in terms of security and data.

The guy who employed as a driver in Delhi, India, pays less than $3 a month for unlimited free calls. 4G data, at 1.5GB a day, which he uses for viewing videos and for WhatsApp calls to his family and friends in the state of Bihar. That’s less than 6 cents per GB – 70 times cheaper than what a consultant pays for his 4G data in UK that too without any free WiFi.

His service provider is Reliance Jio, a young telecom operator that has shaken up the Indian market with cheap, high-speed mobile data and free calls. Jio launched in September 2016 with an aggressive free trial offer, picking up 100 million customers in just six months. The 4G-only high-speed data uses spectrum suited to data, for voice as well as data.

Let’s compare the internet data plans for 2016 and 2020.

2016- The 1 GB 4G data pack costs $ 3.41 and has a validity of 28 days

2020– The 1 GB 4G data/per day pack costs $ 3.41and has a validity of 28 days with unlimited free calls. There are numerous options available with lots of service provider. Its almost same price point

Reliance Jio impact on Indian Telecom Market

In previous section we were talking about how Reliance Jio emerges in India with superpower.

In just two years, Jio has become the third largest telecom operator in India, with 290 million subscribers by December 2018. It gives away its 4G feature phone, JioPhone, against a refundable security deposit of $20, with plans starting below $0.80 a month. The handset runs two of India’s most popular apps, WhatsApp and Facebook, and supports WiFi.

India had more than 550m mobile broadband subscriptions at the end of December 2018, according to India’s telecom regulator TRAI, but just 18m wired broadband subscriptions. Of the 1.17bn mobile subscriptions in the country, 55% of them are in urban areas. The big jump in broadband usage, all of it on mobiles, came mostly from Jio.

The country’s older telecom operators had to compete with Jio, slashing 4G data prices and throwing in freebies. Another driver in Delhi, considered moving to Jio, but his operator Airtel offered him a plan under $6 a month for 40GB of data, with unused data rolled over to the next month, and free Amazon Prime video service for a year. He decided to stay with Airtel.

Clearly, Jio has driven data prices down sharply in India. Can the market sustain these prices? Industry analysts say Jio is subsidising its service to get customers – and squeeze out competitors. There were 10 telecom operators when Jio launched: now there are just four.

Look at some best plans offered by Jio.

Jio Prepaid Recharge Plan

Data Benefit

Validity

Jio to Jio calls

Jio-to non-Jio calls

SMS

Rs 98

2GB

28 Days

Unlimited

IUC 6 paise/min

300

Rs 129

2GB

28 Days

Unlimited

1000 min

300

Rs 149

1GB per Day

24 Days

Unlimited

300 min

100/Day

Rs 199

1.5GB per Day

28 Days

Unlimited

1000 min

100/Day

Rs 249

2GB per Day

28 Days

Unlimited

1000 min

100/Day

Rs 329

6GB

84 Days

Unlimited

3000 min

100/Day

Rs 349

3GB per Day

28 Days

Unlimited

1000 min

100/Day

Rs 399

1.5Gb per Day

56 Days

Unlimited

2000 min

100/Day

Rs 444

2GB per Day

56 Days

Unlimited

2000 min

100/Day

Rs 555

1.5GB per Day

84 Days

Unlimited

3000 min

100/Day

Rs 599

2GB per Day

84 Days

Unlimited

3000 min

100/Day

Rs 1299

24GB

336 Days

Unlimited

12,000 min

100/Day

Rs 2121

1.5GB per Day

336 Days

Unlimited

12,000 min

100/Day

Rs 4999

350GB

360 Days

Unlimited

12,000 min

100/Day

Cost of Mobile Internet Around the World

For smartphone users stick to heavy streaming, mobile data doesn’t always come cheap. In fact, the cost of a gigabyte of mobile data varies extremely between countries. UK-based price comparison website cable.co.uk recently released an extensive analysis of mobile data pricing across the world which focused on 6,313 data plans over 230 countries. India was named the cheapest country for one GB of data with the average cost in U.S. dollars only coming to $0.26. Kyrgyzstan came second with $0.27 while Kazakhstan rounded off the top-three with $0.49.

Zimbabwe is the most expensive country for data where a gigabyte averages $75.20, 289 times as much as in India. The following graph provides an overview of pricing in 15 selected countries with noticeable differences. While a gigabyte of data would set Italian smartphone users back $1.73, the same amount would cost $2.99 in France, $6.66 in the United Kingdom and $6.96 in Germany. Costs are even higher in North America where they average $12.02 in Canada and $12.38 in the United States.

Even though South Korea has been an explorer in exceptional mobile infrastructure and lightning fast internet for years, its prices are still quite high at around $15 for a gigabyte of mobile data. Smartphone users in Seoul are still better off than those in Switzerland where costs are in excess of $20. Commenting on the worldwide rankings, A telecoms analyst in UK, said that many of the cheapest countries have excellent mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure so providers can offer large amounts of data at cheap prices. In many cases, the economy dictates that prices must be low, as that’s what people can afford.

Below graph from statista is showing the actual number.

New Digital India

I read somewhere in the Economic Times.

Although we have seen worst economic fall in current time that hits us hard all time. We still expect it to grow because of the digitalisation in India at early and rapid growth.

In these past few years, digital technology has become a main factor in accelerating the pace of India’s economic growth, in promoting social and economic equity by enhancing access for all to information, markets and public services; and in overcoming the country’s infrastructure shortage. Digital technology can help India realise the ambition of creating a just and strong society. It can help move India to the front rank of nations, particularly leveraging the energies of the country’s youthful population, with its propensity for quick adaptation and thrifty innovation.

If we talk about the digitalisation in India right now it is increasing with rapid speed and soon it will capture all time hit. Weather if we talk about the work, payments or even marketing.

Also, if we look at some facts that many of the digital businesses has become successful in the situation just because of the digital platform they have.

In 2020 we have seen lots of investments are coming up from the big giants like Facebook, Google for the Jio. According to CNBC.

  • Google is investing $4.5 billion into India’s Jio Platforms less than four months after Facebook said it plans to invest $5.7 billion in the company.
  • Google said it plans to jointly develop an affordable Android device with Jio Platforms for the Indian market.
  • Owned by Reliance Industries, Jio Platforms operates a 4G network and has several other apps and services.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Nitin

    Well explained 🙂

  2. Abhishek Bhalerao

    Good work Niket. Keep up the good work 😀👌

  3. Snehal

    Good one , I would completely agree with this. Its very costly here, same applies for TV services as well👍

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