Taiwan biggest user of mobile data in Asia, second in world

Each mobile SIM in Taiwan used 10.7 GB of data per month on average in 2017

Commuters on Taipei's MRT. (Flickr user: Jorge Gonzalez)

Commuters on Taipei's MRT. (Flickr user: Jorge Gonzalez)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan is the greatest user of mobile data in Asia, and only behind Finland in terms of total global usage, according to a new report by Swedish telecom market research company Tefficient.

On average, every mobile SIM card in Taiwan used 10.7 gigabytes of data per month in 2017. Taiwanese mobile users consumed twice as much data as South Koreans, and almost six times as much as Singaporeans.

Mobile data usage per SIM per month, 2017. (Tefficient report)

Fredrik Jungermann, director of Tefficient told the Nikkei Asian Review that Taiwan's large data consumption was mostly spent on "Streaming video and TV, and all those social messaging apps that are becoming more and more image and video-centric".

Taiwan's mobile data costs are relatively cheap, and recent promotions for 4G-based unlimited data plans have resulted in strong consumption of high speed mobile internet.

In May 2018, Chunghwa Telecom launched a Mother's Day offer for unlimited 4G internet for only NT$499 (US$16) per month. Two additional telecoms followed suit, which led to over one million people signing up to the plans and for the National Communications Commission to investigate malpractice.

Mobile data usage v. 4G adoption. (Tefficient report)

In 2017, India recorded the greatest total growth in mobile data usage, increasing consumption by 303 percent. Taiwan's data use grew by 58 percent, placing it in the middle of the pack.