India now global leader in monthly data consumption

Economic Survey: India now global leader in monthly data consumption

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India is now the global leader in monthly data consumption, with average consumption per subscriber per month increasing 157 times from 62 MB in 2014 to 9.8 GB in June 2019.

According to the Economic Survey 2019, the total broadband connections increased by about ten times, from 610 lakh in 2014 to 5,946 lakh in June 2019. "This has accelerated the growth in internet traffic, with data usage touching the highest ever level of 462 lakh terabytes in the year 2018." 

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The survey reveals that the cost of data has also reduced substantially, enabling affordable internet access for millions of citizens.

For the quarter ending June 2019, the price of data was 7.7 per GB as compared to 200 per GB in June 2016. The Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for GSM-based mobile services has also gone down substantially from 126 in June 2016 to 74.30 in June 2019, said the survey.

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The Economic Survey also stated that the BSNL and MTNL are also affected by the tariff war that has impacted their cash flow resulting in mounting losses. "The Government has drawn up a plan to revive these PSUs. The revival plan consists of several measures including reduction of staff cost through Voluntary Retirement Scheme, allotment of spectrum for 4G services, monetization of land/building, tower and fiber assets of BSNL/MTNL, debt restructuring through sovereign guarantee bonds and ‘in-principle’ approval for merger of BSNL and MTNL."

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The survey also threw light on the telephone penetration, stating that thye total telephone connections in India grew by 18.8% from 9,961 lakh in 2014-2015 to 11,834 lakh in 2018-19. Landline telephone connections were at 206 lakh while the number of wireless telephone connections stood at 11,736 lakh at the end of September 2019.