From year 1992 many things changes ranging from the cold war to a new era of telephones and off course Internet, it was also a year where IBM unveiled the very first smartphone. Fast forward two years and the device officially hit the market for a cool price of $1,100 a pop. And after only six months, it had sold over 50,000 units.
Fast forward to the year 2021, Apple has launched a phone that cost almost the same as IBM but offers things that were an alien thing to The old IBM smartphone.
Smartphones without the apps and their interface is just a mere tool, there are end-less usage and purpose of the application available for the smartphones; whether one uses it for fun or work, there will be a dedicated app for it. Apps require data to be accessible and due to this Data usage per subscriber in India, jumped by around 43 times in just six years while data cost decreased by 96% (by 24 times) compared to 2014. On average Indian users consume around 14.4 GB of data in a month, and it continues to increase making India the second-highest in the world.
Some examples of the smartphone application that consumes data are:
Social media and communication
The ability to keep up with the world’s happening is important in the 21st century. Social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are not only common but specialized apps dedicated to checking the news, connecting to people and friends via instant messaging. Social media and communication apps are emerging as nothing else, and this is because of the pandemic. Pandemic gave rise to online education that is only possible with telecommunication apps. Online education or E-learning increased the demand for data usage to a greater extent. E-learning uses apps like Zoom, Google meets, and many more to educate the masses, and recent studies have shown that the data usage on average is between 11.24MB – 17.28MB per minute on Google meets and Zoom, and the longer the meeting duration, the greater the data usage. This explains the growing use of the internet in this 21st century.
Gaming app and Internet
The one thing that has flourished during this isolation free-time is none other than Esports or E-gaming, but the pandemic acted as a Catalyst for the Esports industry to grow and flourish. Lockdown came with a lot of free time, and the source of entertainment was limited. Hence, it proved itself to fight boredom. During the pandemic, most of the students preferred interacting over games like PUBG, Call of Duty, Free Fire, Mini Militia, and several other games, Games like PUBG, Call of Duty, and Free Free Fire, works on the principle of gaming along with interaction, which needs more data and creates Data explosion or internet penetration.
Entertainment and OTT platforms
The whole pandemic came with social isolation, and it is one thing that requires interaction and socialization. The Movie theatre, the pubs, and restaurants were all closed due to the COVID scenario, acted as a catalyst for the flourishment of OTT platforms like Netflix, amazon prime, and ZEE5.
As of now, India stands third in the total revenue generated by OTT platforms. Over the few decades, internet penetration is happening at an astonishing rate. Apps like Youtube, Amazon Prime, Netflix are used by almost 50% of the general population, and this is causing them to enjoy the treat with both the number of users and views surging on their platform
Work-from Home culture
Google Meet, zoom, and sites like We Work Remotely, Jobspresso, FlexJobs worked as a facilitator for Internet Penetration. The telecom industry saw an overall surge of 10 percent traffic as more and more offices are switching to work from home. The Lockdown became a blessing for the broadband sector as the Subscriptions to fixed broadband, especially in the urban areas, have surged because millions are working from home that caused the increase in data usage percentage.
Aside from the application perspective of internet usage surge, one more component that contributed to the penetration of Internet is,
The low Internet Rate
India currently consume almost 12 GB per month, but it was not the case in early 2000s. Most regions in the early 2010s relied on 2G technology, and only 9% of the rural population had reliable internet access. JIO was launched in 2016 that gave rise to a cheaper data environment that offers fast speed. Due to all this, India’s access to the internet in rural areas has tripled since 2015.
Furthermore, the average internet user went to 11 GB from what it was i.e., 700MB. The internet is available at a rate that starts as low as 1$ a month.
Internet penetration didn’t happen overnight but was a slow and gradual process. The points mentioned above are just a few examples that prove the internet penetration