India is the second largest smartphone market With over 430 million smartphone users after China. The Network carries in India is currently providing the cheapest 4G Data in the world and giving away FREE incoming and outgoing calls throughout the country.
Why Data costs in India are low?
Since the inception of Reliance Jio in 2016, Network carries had to rethink their strategy in the Indian market. JIO offered free Voice and Data benefits to Indian Consumers without charging a single rupee. Consumers just had to get the Sim for free and continue using all the benefits of a network for free in the name of beta testing. This pushed heavy pressure on the completion and Many telecom operators had to leave Indian Telecom Market after suffering heavy losses.
This new company shocked the world by acquiring 16 million subscribers in the very first month. This is the fastest rate of acquiring new consumers of any mobile network operator anywhere in the world Reliance Jio crossed 50 million subscriber mark in 83 days. Since the commercial launch of their network, they crossed 100 million subscribers on 22 February 2017. In just 7 months in October 2017, it had about 130 million subscribers.
They acquired these many consumers by charging the consumers only for Data usage with giving free cellular calls to all the consumers without any kind of terms and conditions.
This put tremendous pressure on the competition and the rates had to be adjusted to counter the Reliance Jio aggression. This resulted in India becoming the cheapest mobile data provider in the entire world with 1GB costing just Rs 18.5 (USD 0.26) as compared to a global average of about Rs 600(USD 8.56).
Data Costs in India
The Study showed that The average price of USD 0.26 for one gigabyte (GB) in India is very cheap as compared to USD 6.66 in the UK and USD 12.37 in the US this study also compared data prices in 230 countries but India emerges at the top for providing cheapest mobile data benefits.
The study explains that India is a country whose young population has a particularly high awareness about technological advances, India offers a vibrant smartphone market, with quick and strong adoption and many competitors which directly benefits the users.
Data Costs In Different Countries
Cable.co.uk study said that they compared data from 6,313 mobile data plans in 230 countries between October 23 and November 28, 2018.
For the Indian market, researchers studied 57 plans and found that 1GB of data was available in the country for as low as Rs 1.75 (USD 0.02) and for a maximum of only Rs 99.9 (USD 1.4).
India is followed by Kyrgyzstan where 1GB data is available for USD 0.27 followed by Kazakstan (USD 0.49) and Ukraine (USD 0.51). The strange thing is that all 3 countries were part of the Soviet Union but the Data Plans in Russia is costlier than there former union states.
Zimbabwe is the most expensive country where average data cost of 1GB comes at a highly expensive USD 75.20.
Africa continent has both the cheapest and most expensive rates countries like Rwanda, Sudan and Congo are offering less than USD 1 data prices but Equatorial Guinea and Saint Helena both charging more than USD 50 for the same 1GB.
China costs an average of USD 9.89, Sri Lanka offers 1GB of data for an average of USD 0.87 while Bangladesh is offering the same 1Gb data for USD 0.99. In Pakistan, 1GB is available for USD 1.85.
The Future for Indian Telecom Operators
The Rise of Jio marked the end for many telecom operators in India like Japanese Telecom Operator Docomo who had a successful partnership with Indian Company Tata and were making good profits before the arrival of Reliance jio.
Currently, Reliance Jio forced companies to merge/takeover telecom operators to provide Indian Consumers a strong data and voice connectivity and charging them as low as possible.
The cutthroat competition in the Indian market is stable for now but for the future, the Rise of 5G connections can shake the Indian Telecom industry once again. But for the time being a merger of British company Vodafone and Indian Aditya Birla subsidiary company Idea are the highest telecom operator and the second biggest telecom operator company in the entire world by having a combined user base of 416 million users followed by Bharti Airtel(359 million)and Reliance Jio(280 million).