India’s mobile-broadband subscriptions more than doubled from 218 million to 500 million between 2016 and 2018, driven by the world’s cheapest data costs and an insatiable appetite for digital services. India has 560 million internet users, representing 40.9 percent of its population, and is the world’s second-largest behind China with 560 million -- 58.4 percent of its population -- using the internet. The U.S. trails in third place with 293 million, or 89 percent of its citizens with online access.
India is undergoing a massive phase of internet growth, primarily driven by the improved mobile network infrastructure and cheap data costs -- the average price of one gigabit (1GB) of mobile data is US$0.26, compared with an average cost in the U.S. of $12.37, and in South Korea of $15.12. While households in India tend to have a single television shared by a family, the mobile phone has become the second screen for millions of people to do “timepass” -- filling time on their hands. A wide-ranging 2018 study by Boston Consulting Group, a research firm, predicts that India’s internet
users will reach 650 million by the end of 2023.