India is one of the largest countries in terms of population. This also shows why it leads in terms of data usage. With the introduction of affordable data plans by a number of telecom operators, the monthly data consumption by the Indian youth has grown to 9.8GB as of the end of 2018. According to the recent report of Ericsson, this is the highest in the world. The report also mentioned that the monthly data usage per smartphone would grow at 11% to reach 18 GB by the year 2024.
The reports mentioned that the smartphone data traffic from India in a month was expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% to 16 EB (exabytes) by 2024 from 4.6 EB in 2018. One of the major factors that fuel of this data traffic growth is the mobile video traffic. This shows that the Indian youth are spending a lot of time on streaming and sharing online videos via different platforms.
According to Nitin Bansal, the Head of Ericsson India and Head of Network Solutions, South East Asia, Oceania and India said, “The LTE will remain the most dominant access technology in the region up to 2024 even as 5G subscriptions are expected to grow during this period.”
The LTE (4G) network has evolved in India and it will keep on evolving and by the end of 2024, it is expected to represent about 82% of mobile subscriptions. In comparison, in 2018, the number was 38%, so there will be more than 50% increase in the time duration of 6 years. The LTE subscription in India is expected to grow at 17% CAGR from 450 million in 2018 to 1.16 billion in 2024.
Looking at the number of total mobile subscriptions in the world, there was around 7.9 billion of them in the first quarter of 2019. In the second quarter, another 44 million were added. But the number of mobile subscriptions in India declined by 14 million due to the minimum regular recharge amount introduction by large telecom operators.
The report further added that the number of smartphone subscriptions is estimated to reach around 7.2 billion in 2024. We should mention that at the end of 2018, there were 5.1 billion smartphone subscribers on a global level. In India, the smartphone subscriptions are estimated to reach 1.1 billion by 2024. The mobile subscriptions in 2018 in India was only 610 million and this is expected to grow to 1.25 billion by 2024.
Bansal said, “Based on the latest Consumer Lab study by Ericsson, we have found that Indian smartphone users are willing to pay more than 66 percent premium for 5G services. In fact, more than half of smartphone users in India expect their own provider to switch to 5G or will wait a maximum of six months before moving to another provider that does.”
Looking at the June 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, 5G subscription should reach to around 1.9 billion subscriptions, while in November 2018, the forecast was 1.5 billion.