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Report: India has highest mobile data usage per smartphone in world

India's cellular data plans are the cheapest around, so it's not surprising to hear that they consume the most mobile data too.

Published onJune 20, 2019

A photo of Datally showing YouTube's data usage

It’s no surprise that Indian smartphone users eat through plenty of mobile data each month, owing to loads of attractive offers. But one major study has found that Indian consumers use the most mobile data per smartphone in the world on average.

According to Ericsson’s Mobility Report (h/t: Gadgets 360), Indian consumers hit an average of 9.8GB per smartphone each month by the end of 2018. The report attributed the performance to more LTE subscriptions, attractive data plans, and changing video viewing habits. Furthermore, it forecast this figure to jump to 18GB by 2024.

These results aren’t surprising, as India’s mobile data plans have long been considered the cheapest in the world. And when mobile data is cheap, well, people will take advantage of it. In fact, Indian newcomer Reliance Jio charges just 149 rupees (~$2) for 1.5GB of mobile data daily over 28 days. Meanwhile, a July 2018 report found that Canada led the way when it came to charging the most for 1GB of mobile data, at just over 30 euros (~$34). The older report added that Canadian users only consumed 1.3GB a month in 2017.

BBC runs out of mobile data shortly before 5G broadcast
BBC 5G broadcast

As for other noteworthy performers, Ericsson’s report found that North American users consumed an average of 7GB per smartphone each month. This figure is expected to leap to 39GB by 2024, due to quick 5G roll-outs and the financial power of consumers. Western Europe wasn’t far behind at 6.7GB, forecast to jump to 32GB in 2024.

On the other end of the spectrum is the Middle East and Africa, consuming 3GB per smartphone each month on average, with a predicted leap to 16GB by 2024. Latin America saw similarly disappointing results, with users in this region consuming 3.1GB per month for each smartphone on average. The region is expected to chew through 18GB per smartphone each month by 2024. How much mobile data do you use each month? Let us know below!

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