By Nazim Humayoon
Some days ago a friend of mine sarcastically told me ‘’kech MB kheyath az dohas’’, ‘’ how much MB’s did you consume today?’’. He was actually enquiring about the data I had consumed during the day while surfing the Internet. My reply to his query was ‘’ Akh GB ha ‘’ ‘’ one GB’’. He further replied. ‘’ Kehn wari bronth aes akh GB retas karan use’’. A years ago, we used to surf one GB for a whole month’’. Strange! But true.
The amount of data we consume today is exponential times more what we used to consume some years back. This all is possible due to the advancement in technology-be it cell phones or the internet. The Internet speed which is being offered these days has made possible the transfer of data in such large amounts. Since the launch of JIO, it acquired 125 million users and these users started to consume 16000 Terra Bytes of data per day. Such a huge amount of data transfer and it was possible only with high-speed internet. These days 4G internet is a talk of the town. The launch of Jio 4G last year has totally changed the concept of ‘’Internet’’ and ‘’Internet Speed’’.
JIO offered speed in MBPS or mega bytes per second for ‘free’ for some months after its launch and in its pre launch period during testing phase too, it has given stiff competition to its rivals. Technically speaking, all other telecom operators were out of market literally when JIO launched free 4G Internet. Not only the Internet , there was free calling too for a period initially for some months and then it was extended for 3 months more. Such was the level of competition that many Telecom operators suffered losses in Lacs and Crores of rupees. Some other telecom operators are also now offering 4G internet services too.
Going back in time some 15 years ago, we had Dial-up internet connection with 56 kbps speed of browsing and 1-10 kbps of download. Land Line was mandatory for this and it took more than a minute to load a single web page those days. It seems like a joke but it is true. Since the last 10 years, there have been a lot of changes in the communication technology and internet is one of them. The ‘’Snail Pace’’ internet offered then was replaced by the GPRS technology which could offer 50-100 kbps of speed. Initially GPRS, EDGE technology was introduced by BSNL which offered a bit increased speed and the mobile acted as a modem while one could surf the internet on a desktop.
Laptops were not so popular then. One could at least browse some web pages with more speed as compared to the (Dialup) one. Some 10 years back, BSNL had started to offer Broadband internet in many areas of Kashmir and after that Broadband started to gain popularity here as it offered very high-speed internet access. One could easily surf pages which would open in not minutes but seconds only. As the broadband internet gained popularity we started to witness popularization of the mobile internet, this time 3G. This was possible only as smart phones started to enter markets and their use started to increase vis a vis the internet. We are in an era where we have witnessed speeds as low as 5 kbps to as high as 5 Mbps. Why do we consume so much amount of data? It is mainly the high-speed mobile internet and the use of the same which allows users to transfer data as fast as 10 Mbps. This exponential increase in the speed has led to the Data Consumption in Terra Bytes and we will be definitely witnessing much more rise in the data consumption in the coming years. We have definitely become Data Eaters! Haven’t we?
—The author can be reached at: [email protected]