Mobile phone internet users in India 2015-2023

India’s digital journey is one of exuberance. The country had the world’s second-largest internet population at over 483 million users in 2018. Of these, 390 million users accessed the internet via their mobile phones. Estimates suggest that this figure would reach over 500 million by 2023.

The path towards digital India

Mobile internet has been such a positive development in the country’s digital progress, that in 2019, over 73 percent of India’s total web traffic coming from mobile phones. But how did this come to be? Two main factors point to the sudden spike in mobile internet penetration in the south Asian country. Firstly, the increased availability of cheap smartphones since 2010 had created a fertile ground for digital adoption and literacy. Along with this, the Indian government understood the vitality of investments in its telecommunications sector and further opened the market with new telecom spectrum licenses.

Reliance Jio - the market disruptor

With this backdrop, in September 2016, Reliance Jio entered the Indian market, promising customers with cheap 4G, high speed data plans along with free voice calling. Within six months of its launch, the company had attracted over a 100 million customers and by the end of 2019, it had the highest wireless telecom subscriber base in India. Jio’s competitive pricing drove down the data pricing among other established telecom operators, leading to a cumulative growth in mobile internet accessibility as well as affordability.

Number of mobile phone internet users in India from 2015 to 2018 with a forecast until 2023

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Sources

Release date

February 2019

Region

India

Survey time period

2015 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Mobile phone users of any age who access the internet from a mobile browser or an installed app at least once per month.

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