Data Tariffs down by 93% Since 2014, but Data Usage Saw 25x Growth: DoT

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Data tariffs in India are currently at a record low and according to a recent tweet from the Department of Telecom (DoT) mobile internet rates have gone down by 93% over the last three years. The rapid decline in data tariffs started with the entry of Reliance Jio into the telecom space in 2016 with the company offering data as low as Rs.4 per GB per day.

Due to the falling data tariffss, the overall data usage increased exponentially and according to the DoT the average data usage per subscriber “grew 25 times from 62 MB per month in 2014 to 1.6GB per month in 2017.” The ongoing data wars have resulted in India having the lowest data tariffs in the world and the highest data consumption. The mobile data consumption in India is currently at 1.3 million GB per month, which is more than the data usage in the US and China combined.

Additionally, the smartphone penetration in the country has more than doubled from 190 million to 390 million and the number of internet users have also increased by about 66%, from 251 million in 2014 to 429 million in 2017. Broadband access, on the other hand, has also increased from 61 million subscribers in March 2014 to 325 million subscribers in September 2017, according to the DoT.

The most recent performance indicator of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) reveals that there were 445.9 million Internet subscribers at the end of December 2017. The rapid uptake in mobile internet usage has also had an affect on the number of mobile base stations.

According to DoT data, the number of mobile base stations in the country more than doubled, from 7.9 lakh in May 2014 to 16.8 lakh by the end of 2017. Optical fibre cable coverage in the country has also increased from 7 lakh kilometers in May 2014 to 14 lakh kilometers in December 2017. The DoT revealed the aforementioned information in a string of tweets on from its official Twitter handle.

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