Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

August 24, 2020

India has the cheapest Mobile Internet in the world

Filed under: Interesting Sites,My Thoughts,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 2:58 PM

Internet services were launched in India on 15th August, 1995 by Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited and in November, 1998, the Government opened up the sector for providing Internet services by private operators. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Internet’s launch in India and its astounding how much the landscape has changed in the past 25 years. My first net connection in 1998 was a blazing 33.3kbps dial-up connection that cost Rs 15,000 for 250 hours, this allowed you to use graphical tools to browse the internet like Netscape (which was the precursor for Firefox). For students there was a discount pricing for Rs 5,000 for 250 hours but they only got access to text/shell based browsing.

Now, 25 years later the landscape is completely different. Internet connections costs in India are the cheapest in the world as per a recent study done for The Worldwide broadband speed league by Cable.co.uk in association with M-Lab.

Five cheapest packages in the world

The five cheapest countries in terms of the average cost of 1GB of mobile data are India ($0.09), Israel ($0.11), Kyrgyzstan ($0.21), Italy ($0.43), and Ukraine ($0.46).

Conversely to the most expensive, none of these countries are islands. Further, they all either contain excellent fibre broadband infrastructure (Italy, India, Ukraine, Israel), or in the case of Kyrgyzstan rely heavily on mobile data as the primary means to keep its populace connected to the rest of the world.

This is based on sampling done in Feb 2020

Rank Name Plans measured Average price of 1GB (local currency) Currency Conversion rate (USD) (Frozen 27/04/2020) Average price of 1GB (USD) Cheapest 1GB (Local currency) Cheapest 1GB for 30 days (USD) Most expensive 1GB (Local currency) Most expensive 1GB (USD) Sample date
1 India 60 6.66 INR 0.01 0.09 1.63 0.02 209.09 $2.75 14/02/2020

If you compare the costs to prices in the US, you will notice that Internet (data) is significantly more expensive in the US as opposed to India.

Rank Name Plans measured Average price of 1GB (local currency) Currency Conversion rate (USD) (Frozen 27/04/2020) Average price of 1GB (USD) Cheapest 1GB (Local currency) Cheapest 1GB for 30 days (USD) Most expensive 1GB (Local currency) Most expensive 1GB (USD) Sample date
188 United States 29 8.00 USD 1.00 8.00 2.20 2.20 2.20 $60.00 24/02/2020

The cheap internet data connections in India is completely due to Reliance Jio. Till Jio launched their services in September 2016 the cost for 1GB of data was Rs 249 for 1GB (Airtel/Idea) & Rs. 251 for 1GB (Vodaphone). After Jio launched all other ISP’s starting loosing customers to Jio at an astronomical rate and had to cut prices in order to stay in business. Now, 4 years later we have the cheapest data in the world at ~Rs 6 per GB. 🙂 This proves that healthy competition is the best way to get good service at a competitive pricing. If there was a monopoly then they can choose the pricing as per their desire and since folks don’t have an alternate option they have to use their services.

Check out the full report at: Worldwide mobile data pricing: The cost of 1GB of mobile data in 228 countries.

– Suramya

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