KOCHI: As the country is all set to provide a legal back-up to the Aadhaar platform, it seems the situation is conducive for India to become truly digital. India stands 7th as the cheapest country to own a mobile phone as the average monthly cost is only Rs 196 in 2015 against Rs 188.5 in 2014.
Going forward, the deepest penetration of mobile internet usage is all set to give the country an upper edge. Sri Lanka is the country where the cheapest rate for using a mobile phone prevails at Rs 64/month followed by Bangladesh (Rs 95) and Iran (Rs 150). India is estimated to have 37.1 crore mobile internet users by June 2016. The country will attract 6.5 crore new mobile internet users by then.
According to the World Bank’s recent World Development Report (WDR) ‘Digital Dividends’, Brazil is the most expensive country in terms of mobile services at Rs 3253 per month, then comes Ireland (Rs 2,959) and the UK (Rs 2,870).
“Currently about 100 crore people in India are offline. But mobile internet can effectively fill the gap. In Bihar, with no electricity or all-weather roads-poor farmers benefit from digitally enabled agricultural extension services from an NGO -Digital Green-that trains farmers using locally produced how-to videos. This is an example which proves the strength of mobile internet,” says the World Bank report.
Pushing the digital revolution, nearly 90 crore Indians have been issued Aadhaar cards in the past five years.
“Customers, especially youngsters are now connected to internet using mobile phones. Hence it will play a crucial role in transforming the country,” said Abhijit Kishore, Business Head-Kerala, Vodafone India.
Also people in the lower strata of the society are getting benefited from the mobile digital revolution. The latest example is Fisher Friend app, jointly developed by Qualcomm India and MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, now live in Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.