internet trends

Falling data costs, massive mobile usage makes India a fascinating market for internet, says report

The annual Mary Meeker ‘Internet Trends’ report says internet penetration is still low but things are changing rapidly.

In 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution that said that internet access is a basic human right. Indeed, in the developed word, internet access is near ubiquitous, in line with other utilities such as clean water and power. But what about India?

On Wednesday, Mary Meeker, a researcher at the American venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers released her much-awaited annual Internet Trends report with a significant focus on India, calling it one of the “most fascinating markets for the internet on the planet”. Here are the most important highlights from the report.

India has low internet penetration – but it is growing fast. Very fast.

Only 27% of Indians have access to the internet – a figure that is nearly half of China’s (51%) and almost the same as Sri Lanka (28%) and Sudan (26%). Yet, India’s large population means that even with this low penetration, it reached the #2 spot on total internet users. Moreover, the number of Indians with access to internet is growing fast. It jumped by 28% in 2016 as compared to the previous year and has grown by nearly seven times since 2009.

Major factor driving this growth – falling mobile data rates

While India always had very low calling rates, till last year its annual average data rates were actually quite expensive being well above the 2% of annual GDP/capita threshold for affordability prescribed by the Alliance for Affordable Internet.

One player changed it all: Reliance Jio. By offering free data, Jio forced other telecom companies to cut rates drastically. As a result, annual average data rates now stand at 1.3% of annual GDP/capita – well below the recommended 2% ceiling.

As mobile data rates fall, mobile data volumes shoot up

Most developed countries first hopped onto the fixed line internet bandwagon and then moved onto mobile data. India never had the infrastructure for mass fixed line internet in the first place – so it is trying to leapfrog directly to mass mobile internet. And the plan seems to be working.

Eighty per cent of India’s internet usage is on mobiles, second only to Nigeria.

This means India’s wireless internet data has exploded – consumption has grown nine times since last year.

Exploding data consumption means exploding mobile media. People spend seven times more time on their phones than on watching television.

If your friends, family or you yourself are always on the phone – and it is a terrible habit – at least you know now that you are not alone.

The other factor helping India’s internet penetration – China

The Indian and Chinese government might not always see eye to eye but when it comes to smartphones, matters are far more sanguine. Low cost Chinese smartphone handsets are helping more and more Indians log onto the worldwide web. Till 2015, India preferred Indian manufactures such as Micromax, Lava and Karbonn. But Chinese manufacturers such as Lenovo, Xiaomi and Oppo upped their game to woo Indian smartphone users. As a result, Chinese manufacturers control more than 50% of the Indian handset market today.

While Indians are used to American, European and even Korean multinational corporations dominating the market, Chinese firms are still a novelty. To overcome this, Chinese handset manufacturer OnePlus has signed on actors Amitabh Bachchan and Sushant Singh Rajput, and tennis player Sania Mirza to advertise its phones in India.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

What’s the difference between ‘a’ washing machine and a ‘great’ washing machine?

The right machine can save water, power consumption, time, energy and your clothes from damage.

In 2010, Hans Rosling, a Swedish statistician, convinced a room full of people that the washing machine was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution. In the TED talk delivered by him, he illuminates how the washing machine freed women from doing hours of labour intensive laundry, giving them the time to read books and eventually join the labour force. Rosling’s argument rings true even today as it is difficult to deny the significance of the washing machine in our everyday lives.

For many households, buying a washing machine is a sizable investment. Oddly, buyers underestimate the importance of the decision-making process while buying one and don’t research the purchase as much as they would for a television or refrigerator. Most buyers limit their buying criteria to type, size and price of the washing machine.

Visible technological advancements can be seen all around us, making it fair to expect a lot more from household appliances, especially washing machines. Here are a few features to expect and look out for before investing in a washing machine:

Cover your basics

Do you wash your towels every day? How frequently do you do your laundry? Are you okay with a bit of manual intervention during the wash cycle? These questions will help filter the basic type of washing machine you need. The semi-automatics require manual intervention to move clothes from the washing tub to the drying tub and are priced lower than a fully-automatic. A fully-automatic comes in two types: front load and top load. Front loading machines use less water by rotating the inner drum and using gravity to move the clothes through water.

Size matters

The size or the capacity of the machine is directly proportional to the consumption of electricity. The right machine capacity depends on the daily requirement of the household. For instance, for couples or individuals, a 6kg capacity would be adequate whereas a family of four might need an 8 kg or bigger capacity for their laundry needs. This is an important factor to consider since the wrong decision can consume an unnecessary amount of electricity.

Machine intelligence that helps save time

In situations when time works against you and your laundry, features of a well-designed washing machine can come to rescue. There are programmes for urgent laundry needs that provide clean laundry in a super quick 15 to 30 minutes’ cycle; a time delay feature that can assist you to start the laundry at a desired time etc. Many of these features dispel the notion that longer wash cycles mean cleaner clothes. In fact, some washing machines come with pre-activated wash cycles that offer shortest wash cycles across all programmes without compromising on cleanliness.

The green quotient

Despite the conveniences washing machines offer, many of them also consume a substantial amount of electricity and water. By paying close attention to performance features, it’s possible to find washing machines that use less water and energy. For example, there are machines which can adjust the levels of water used based on the size of the load. The reduced water usage, in turn, helps reduce the usage of electricity. Further, machines that promise a silent, no-vibration wash don’t just reduce noise – they are also more efficient as they are designed to work with less friction, thus reducing the energy consumed.

Customisable washing modes

Crushed dresses, out-of-shape shirts and shrunken sweaters are stuff of laundry nightmares. Most of us would rather take out the time to hand wash our expensive items of clothing rather than trusting the washing machine. To get the dirt out of clothes, washing machines use speed to first agitate the clothes and spin the water out of them, a process that takes a toll on the fabric. Fortunately, advanced machines come equipped with washing modes that control speed and water temperature depending on the fabric. While jeans and towels can endure a high-speed tumble and spin action, delicate fabrics like silk need a gentler wash at low speeds. Some machines also have a monsoon mode. This is an India specific mode that gives clothes a hot rinse and spin to reduce drying time during monsoons. A super clean mode will use hot water to clean the clothes deeply.

Washing machines have come a long way, from a wooden drum powered by motor to high-tech machines that come equipped with automatic washing modes. Bosch washing machines include all the above-mentioned features and provide damage free laundry in an energy efficient way. With 32 different washing modes, Bosch washing machines can create custom wash cycles for different types of laundry, be it lightly soiled linens, or stained woollens. The ActiveWater feature in Bosch washing machines senses the laundry load and optimises the usage of water and electricity. Its EcoSilentDrive motor draws energy from a permanent magnet, thereby saving energy and giving a silent wash. The fear of expensive clothes being wringed to shapelessness in a washing machine is a common one. The video below explains how Bosch’s unique VarioDrumTM technology achieves damage free laundry.


To start your search for the perfect washing machine, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Bosch and not by the Scroll editorial team.