BCG-TIE study sees Net economy doubling by 2020, even as India emerges a surprising global leader in 4G rollout
Bangalore, April 10 2017: If you are a bit late to start, you could end up faster than the competition, because you have less legacy baggage to discard. This truism of the technology industry is being proved all over again when it comes to the galloping growth of the Internet-fueled business in India.
A study carried out by global management consultants, BCG Group for the Delhi-NCR chapter of the India-centric entrepreneurship organization, The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE), finds that the Indian Internet economy is a dormant volcano of opportunity that will double to $250 Billion by 2020.
It is already the world's number 2 nation after China with regard to mobile Internet users -- touching 391 million users. The study suggests this will grow to 650 million by 2020. However, internet consumption continues to be low when compared with global peers, at less than 1 GB data per month vis-a-vis developing economies like Indonesia and Brazil at 2–3 GB/month and developed economies like Japan and US at 9–11 GB/month
High speed internet is becoming ubiquitous with 4G access across the country like never before... and with 72 % availability of 4G, India is already ahead of several more economically advanced nations.
“Mass affordability” of high speed data is becoming the game changing catalyst driving adoption at scale...Data tariffs in India are falling sharply when compared to other markets. If the annualized realized tariffs per GB of data as a % of Gross National Income or GNI per capita (2015) is measured, India in 2017 is among the lowest -- at 0.4%
Says, a BCG partner and report co-author Nimisha Jain: "There are three forces that are now synergizing to unlock internet consumption in India: Firstly, by 2020, 4G enabled devices are expected to grow 6 times to 550 million devices, constituting 70% devices in use. Secondly, reliable high speed data is becoming both ubiquitous as well as mass affordable (data rates have reduced to less than one-third in just 4–5 months). Lastly, digital content is proliferating as well as improving in quality, thus driving consumption."
Increased high speed internet adoption, is expected to increase time spent online by 2020 to almost 3-4 times. Additionally in India, the amount of video consumed online is on the rise especially driven by online media and entertainment. As internet access ceases to be a constraint, consumers will become more quality conscious, resulting in an increase in the average video resolution. As a result, average data consumption per user is set to increase 10-14-fold by 2020.
The report states:
The last decade has seen India embracing technology, with digital making inroads into all walks of life and reaching more and more Indians each year. India’s digital narrative has been largely small screen led, with the mobile becoming the first source of accessing internet in India, surpassing computers and laptops. Mobile penetration has increased by leaps and bounds percolating to the grassroots, with almost 700 million mobile phones in operation today in India. At present, around 65% of these are feature phones, with an average price tag of Rs 1,000. The approximately 250million smartphones form the premium end of the market with an average price of Rs 8,000.
Empowered with such devices, Indians are increasingly doing more than just calling on their handsets. One in every four Indians today accesses internet on the mobile phone, summing to almost 391 million mobile internet users – which for perspective is bigger than the population of the US today. However only half of these ( about 218 million ) are able to access high speed internet, while the remaining 173 million users online on feature phones are constrained by the device capability and internet speed.