There has been an explosion of internet services in India in the last few years. Indians have come online, ready to spend their time and money.
This is fuelled entirely by one change - the cost of mobile data has dropped dramatically. Today, mobile data costs less that one tenth what it did just two years ago.
India is now one of the world’s largest consumers of mobile broadband data. It was 155th two years ago. By 2024 data usage is expected to quadruple as 1 billion smartphones come online. For 2016 and 2017, India’s average data usage per SIM was the highest in the world, according to a report by Tefficient).
By every measure this is a gigantic Internet market awakening.
The change was led by the new carrier Reliance Jio - which launched a 4G only data network in 2016. Many soon followed and and this drove prices to Rs.19 per GB (they were Rs. 269 in 2014). As of October 2018, Jio had 250 million subscribers - less than two years after launching.
I’m frankly surprised how little we are talking about this change in North America. India is the world’s largest democracy. It is also the fastest growing economy and is expected to have the largest middle class by 2025 (source, source).
We can now realize the potential of India’s billion-people consumer market. This will enable all kinds of innovation and I’m excited to see that happen.
At the same time there is also fear. Our planet is very sick, and won’t survive another billion people recklessly consuming and creating waste. We cannot ignore this as India comes online.