Internet usage in the world is on the rise, as more and more people can go online through accessible, cheap smartphones. This is especially true for India, where the budget market is striving. Coupled with the ever-growing LTE network in the country and better deals on unlimited contracts, it's no surprise that India has the highest average monthly mobile data usage per smartphone with 9.8GB per user, as a report from mobile networking and telecommunications company Ericsson states in its yearly report.
A lot of people are streaming and sharing video on unlimited connections, which contribute to the biggest chunk of bandwidth growth. Ericsson estimates that LTE will be available to more than 80 percent of users by 2024, which should result in another jump in data usage, leading to an estimated monthly consumption of 18GB per smartphone.
Despite the rapid growth in LTE contracts, half of the users in India are currently still on EDGE and GSM with 48 percent of contracts allowing only the use of these standards — there is a reason why Google is pushing Android One and stripped-down, light versions of its apps so heavily in the country.
Interestingly, the total amount of mobile subscriptions declined in India at the same time. That's due many carriers introducing new minimum fees to tackle the high amount of low-usage, low-paying customers on their networks, who in turn canceled their contracts. Because many Indians have multiple subscriptions with different call or data rates, the average amount of users didn't jump down along with the decline of subscriptions.
Another problem plaguing the rapidly growing market is smartphone theft. The Indian Express reports that the country's government is preparing to roll out an IMEI database, where victims can have their phone's identifier blacklisted, so it can be blocked by carriers. Internationally, this is a common practice that has led to a decline in stolen smartphones.
- Gadgets 360