In a boost to Modi government, the number of internet connections in India has surged by 65 per cent in 2018 to cross ambitious 50 crore-mark set up three years back as billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio continued to take lead in boosting internet connectivity across the country through its low cost data. At the end of September 2018, there were 56 crore narrow-band and broadband connections in India, according to TRAI data.
Interestingly, of the 56 crore total internet connections, 54 crore are on mobile phones and remaining via broadband, implying that majority of customers are using internet on phones. Of the total 56 crore connections, 64 per cent, or 36 crore, are in the urban areas and 36 per cent, or 19.4 crore, in the rural areas, data showed.
As on August 31, 2018 there were 445.18 million subscribers that used internet on mobile phones and dongles. The number increased to 462.89 on September 30, 2018.
Top five service providers constituted 97.86 per cent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of September 2018. These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm (252.25 million), Bharti Airtel (99.29 million), Vodafone (51.82 million), Idea Cellular (47.90 million) and BSNL (20.12 million).
The report further added that six states namely Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, and Maharashtra account for 20 crore or 36 per cent of all internet connections in India.
In December 2015, Union telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said: “My plan is to make 50 crore internet connections in India by 2018… I’m convinced that in the coming 2-3 years India will become equal to China as an IT market of the world.” – Financial Express