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Internet Usage Statistics (India)

Over the past decade, India has seen a dramatic increase in the percentage of its population availing internet services. By 2020, India had around 690 million internet users connecting 50% of her population. This development can be attributed to several factors including cheaper data prices, increasing ubiquity of smartphones, a relatively younger population and digitization of essential services.


Internet Penetration Percentage in India (2007 - 2020)
Internet Penetration Percentage in India (2007 - 2020)

In addition to percentage of population connected to internet, average data consumption of user per month shot up from mere 0.8 GB in 2015 to 13.46 GB in 2020 largely owing to a significant reduction in data prices. In 2016, Indian business tycoon Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio entered the telecom sector with extremely competitive pricing there by plummeting the data prices.


Average Price of 1 GB Data vs Average Data Consumption per user per month (2015-2020)
Average Price of 1 GB Data vs Average Data Consumption per user per month (2015-2020)

4G services started to gain popularity in India around 2014 with networks offering free upgrades from 3G networks. 4G brought a plethora of advantages to the Indian market such as higher bandwidths (data speeds), low latency and improved network responsiveness. 4G was quickly adapted by the Indian market and within a couple of years, it replaced 3G as the preferred standard of cellular networks. By 2020, total 4G subscribers surpassed 700 million, consuming 99% of overall mobile data traffic.


Total Data Consumption Trend 3G & 4G (2015 - 2020)
Total Data Consumption Trend 3G & 4G (2015 - 2020)

In 2020, average daily time users aged 16 - 64 spent using the internet (all devices) stands at 6h 36 mins. Social media and video streaming collectively consume the lion's share of the time an average user spends using the internet.


Top Social Media and Video Streaming apps on Android phones, based on total cumulative time spent in 2020
Top Social Media and Video Streaming apps on Android phones, based on total cumulative time spent in 2020

Despite the large number of internet users in the country, India's internet penetration levels are far lesser than those of developed economies such as United States, Germany and South Korea. Also, the number of women who have access to internet is much lower than men in the country, and the bias is even more evident in rural India with 69% of Internet users being men. India has enormous potential in increasing its digital footprint through incentivizing internet accessibility among marginalized groups including women, older people and rural inhabitants of the country.







SOURCES: Data Reportal 2021 Report, Nokia Mobile Broadband Index India 2021, Statista