Explainer: Why does India have the world's cheapest mobile data?

Explainer: Why does India have the world's cheapest mobile data?

- A recent survey revealed that India offers the cheapest data rates in the world

- On average, Indians are only paying $0.26 (R3.75) per gigabyte of data

- The reason for the slashed prices lies with Reliance Jio, one of the newer telecom operators

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South Africans voice their disapproval about a wide array of issues and data is one of them.

However, one country that’s not bearing the brunt of high data prices is India.

In fact, a recent BBC report revealed that Indians enjoy the cheapest data rates in the world.

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The report indicates that Indians are only paying $0.26 (R3.75) per gigabyte of data.

This is a fraction of the average price is the US (United States) of $12.37 and Britain with $6.66.

In fact, more Indian subscribers were reported to be paying a paltry $0.10 (R1.44) per gig.

So how can India offer such attractive rates, far lower than the global average of $8.53 (R123) per gig?

Well, the answer lies with the new kid on the block - Reliance Jio.

Reliance Jio is a relatively new entry into the Indian telecom market and launched in September 2016.

The company attracted a staggering 100 million customers within 6 months due to their aggressive and innovative free trial offer.

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They operate on a 4G-only network and have become the third largest telecom operator in India within the space of two years.

By cutting the average price and gobbling up market share, Reliance Jio’s competitors were forced to follow suit and drop their data prices as well.

However, Head of the Cellular Operators Association of India, Rajan Mathews, predicts that data prices will go back up in the near future.

He argues that the current low rates are not sustainable as operators have experienced a dent in their profit margins.

An unnamed source close to Jio, feels that their low rates are sustainable though.

The anonymous insider said, "Jio bet on a frequency which was lying unused in abundance. It combined voice and data - no one had thought of using voice in that spectrum band."

Whatever the future holds, Indian subscribers are making the most of their dirt cheap data – the country now boasts an average usage of 10GB per user per month.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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