The monthly mobile data usage in India has increased by a phenomenal 50 per cent in the last five years, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.
"India is now leading the world in the consumption of mobile data. Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years," said Goyal while presenting the Interim Budget for 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha.
"The cost of data and voice calls in India is now possibly the lowest in the world," he added.
According to experts, Reliance Jio with 28 crore users has led this stupendous growth in data consumption with its ultra-cheap data plans.
For Jio, average data consumption per user per month is now 10.8 GB and average voice consumption has been recorded at 794 minutes per user per month. Video consumption drove most of the usage, increasing to 460 crore hours per month.
"Data consumption has been driven by decline in data pricing and maturing smartphone ecosystem which includes devices, content and other services," Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint, told IANS.
"The short format content is engaging users to consume more data," he added.
According to a latest survey by global digital content delivery platform Limelight Networks, Indian viewers are now watching online video content for an average of eight hours 28 minutes each week, more than the time they spend viewing TV every week. The amount of time Indian viewers spend watching online videos is far higher than the global average of six hours and 45 minutes each week in 2018 which itself marks a 58 per cent rise from the 2016 figure.
India currently has over 430 million smartphone users.
"The emergence of affordable smartphones coupled with low data costs, following Jio's entry, has spurred the enhanced data usage per customer over the past couple of years. This is driven by consumers in Tier-II and Tier-III cities," said Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG) at research firm CMR.