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Mobile Data Usage in India increases by more than twice in 3 years


As per the data available with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the mobile data usage in the country is close to 1.4 million Tera Bytes in 2015-16. It has increased by more than twice in 3 years from 2013-14 to 2015-16.


As more and more people start accessing the internet through their mobile phones, mobile data usage is increasing by the day. As per the latest available information with the government, mobile data usage has increased by 135% from 2013-14 to 2015-16.

New telephone connections see a continuous increase

Except for 2012-13 where the absolute number of telephone connections went down by more than 50 million compared to the previous year, the absolute number of telephone connections is continuously increasing every year. In the last two years, the increase is to the tune of almost 6 million in each  single year. The drop in 2012-13 is primarily due to the removal of inactive mobile telephone connections by various service providers.

Mobile Data Usage in India_increase decrease in no of telephone connections

The overall tele density (number of telephone connections per 100 population) increased from 75.23% in March 2014 to 82.93% in February 2016 while during the period April 2012 to March 2014,the tele density declined from 78.66% to 75.23% again on account of the decrease in the number of connections in 2012-13.  Rural tele density is 50.63% as in February 2016. It increased by 6.62% during April 2014 to February 2016.

Mobile Data usage at about 1.4 million Tera Bytes (TB)

The mobile data usage has been continuously increasing on account of more and more people accessing the internet. From 5.87 lakh TB in 2013-14, the mobile data usage increased to 13.84 lakh TB in 2015-16 (up to Feb’16). If March 2016 is included, the usage will easily cross 14 lakh TB or 1.4 million TB. The mobile data usage has more than doubled in three years.

Mobile Data Usage in India_Mobile Data Usage in India in terabytes

Mobile Data Usage by Private providers on the rise

The proportion of mobile data usage by private operators has been increasing with each passing year. From 92.3% in 2013-14, it has now reached 93.8% in 2015-16 (up to Feb’16). At the same time, the proportion of mobile data usage by public sector operators (BSNL & MTNL) is decreasing. From 7.7% in 2013-14, it has come down to 6.2% in 2015-16 (till Feb’16).

Mobile Data Usage in India_proportion of mobile data usage by type of provider

Annual Minutes of Usage (MoU) is also on the rise

The annual Minutes of Usage (MoU) is also continuously increasing each year with increasing mobile connections. From 2.87 lakh crore annual minutes in 2010-11, it has reached 4.1 lakh crore annual minutes in 2014-15. MoU increased by over 16% in 2011-12 compared to the previous year while it increased by only 2% in 2012-13. In 2013-14, it again increased by a substantial 14.6% while the increase was a mere 5.1% in 2014-15.

Mobile Data Usage in India_annual minutes of usage in crore

Featured Image Source: WikiHow[CC BY-SA 3.0]


About Author

Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast & passionate about Governance/Policy issues.

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