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Mobile communications in India - Statistics & Facts

The telecommunication market across India was the second largest in the world with a subscriber bas of over 1.2 billion in 2020. Strong consumer demand and reformist policies from the Indian government played an instrumental role in the growth of the industry. Indians have had the luxury of using mobile phones since 1995. The first commercial mobile phone service in India was launched by Modi group along with the Australian telecom giant, Telstra. Although owing to the high call rates per minute, only the rich and the affluent were able to use mobile phones back then. Since the 90’s though, mobile communication in India has come a long way from the traditional services of just texting and calling.

With a variety of smartphones and internet packages flooding the market today, mobile communication has now become an integral part of everyday life. The smartphone industry in India saw a steady growth over the years and around 36 percent of all Indian mobile users are expected to own a smartphone by 2022. Indeed, this little device has seeped into the everyday life so much that Indians were ranked second in terms of their daily mobile internet usage across the Asia Pacific region in 2016. Early 2019 saw a growth of over 160 percent in app downloads compared to the previous two years. In the first three months that year, almost five billion mobile app downloads were registered.

With over a billion mobile subscribers, India was one of the world’s largest telecom markets by subscriber numbers. Various private operators have taken over the wireless market, leading to a fierce competition for monopoly in the mobile service market. With rapid transformation in this industry, the leading private service providers such as Vodafone, Reliance Jio and Airtel, continuously strive for customer satisfaction and offer increasing gigabytes of data per day in addition to unlimited free calls simply to retain their customer base. Initiatives such as “Digital India” and “Make in India” also provided huge employment opportunities in the mobile manufacturing industry in the country since 2014. After catering to the domestic markets, the industry now has an opportunity to become an export-oriented market soon.

By 2020, the mobile industry in India was expected to contribute about 8.2 percent to country’s GDP. The Nepal and Bhutan regions of the country, were forecast to have about a million 5G mobile subscriptions by this year. The number of internet subscribers was also expected to doubly by 2021. With the onset of 5G spectrum with faster latency and better bandwidth, the use of technology will be manifold.

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Mobile communications in India

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