Surfshark’s 5th annual Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) ranks India 52nd in the world, up from 59th last year. The increase is largely due to the country’s surge in internet quality, for which it now ranks 16th. However, the country faced challenges in e-infrastructure, ranking 91st. As for the remaining pillars, India ranks 28th in internet affordability, 35th in e-government, and 66th in e-security. In the overall Index, India surpasses Bangladesh (82nd), but lags behind China (44th). In Asia, India takes 13th place, with Singapore the leader in the region.
“In many nations, ‘digital quality of life’ has merged into the broader concept of overall ‘quality of life’. There’s no other way to look at it now that so many daily activities, including work, education, and leisure, are done online. That’s why it’s crucial to pinpoint the areas in which a nation’s digital quality of life thrives and where attention is needed, which is the precise purpose of the DQL Index”, says Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, Surfshark’s spokeswoman.
India’s internet quality is 36% higher than the global average.
- Fixed internet averages 76 Mbps in India. To put that into perspective, the world’s fastest fixed internet — Singapore’s — is 300 Mbps. Meanwhile, the slowest fixed internet in the world — Yemen’s — is 11 Mbps.
- Mobile internet averages 74 Mbps. The fastest mobile internet — the UAE’s — is 310 Mbps, while the world’s slowest mobile internet — Venezuela’s — is 10 Mbps.
India’s internet speeds may not be among the fastest in the world. But the country’s high ranking in the internet quality pillar is largely due to high internet stability and an excellent improvement in mobile internet speed. Since last year, mobile internet speed in India has improved by 297%, while fixed broadband speed has grown by 16%.
The internet is affordable in India compared to other countries.
- Indians have to work 1 hour 48 minutes a month to afford fixed broadband internet. While this is less than average, it is 6 times more than in Romania, which has the world’s most affordable fixed internet (Romanians have to work 18 minutes a month to afford it).
- Indians have to work 44 minutes 22 seconds a month to afford mobile internet. This is 3 times more than in Luxembourg, which has the world’s most affordable mobile internet (Luxembourgers have to work 16 minutes a month to afford it).
India is 66th in the world in e-security — 6 places lower than last year.
The e-security pillar measures how well a country is prepared to counter cybercrime, as well as how advanced a country’s data protection laws are. In this pillar, India outperforms Bangladesh (85th) and China (79th). But in the global context, India is unprepared to fight against cybercrime, and the country has very low data protection laws.
India is 91st in e-infrastructure and 35th in e-government.
Advanced e-infrastructure makes it easy for people to use the internet for various daily activities, such as working, studying, shopping, etc. This pillar evaluates how high internet penetration is in a given country, as well as its network readiness (readiness to take advantage of Information and Communication Technologies). India’s internet penetration is quite low (60% — 95th in the world), and the country ranks 59th in network readiness.
The e-government pillar shows how advanced a government’s digital services are and the level of Artificial Intelligence (AI) readiness a country demonstrates. India’s e-government is above the global average.
Globally, the internet is more affordable than last year.
- Fixed internet is 11% more affordable than last year — on average, people have to work 42 minutes less a month to afford it.
- Mobile internet is 26% more affordable than last year — people have to work 41 minutes less to afford it.
The DQL Index 2023 examined 121 nations (92% of the global population) based on five core pillars that consist of 14 indicators. The study is based on the United Nations’ open-source information, the World Bank, and other sources. This year’s study includes four more countries than DQL 2022, reaffirming Surfshark’s commitment to global representation.
India’s full profile in the 2023 Digital Quality of Life report and an interactive country comparison tool can be found here: https://surfshark.com/dql2023?country=IN