The total mobile data traffic per month in India is expected to grow five times from 1.9 EB to 10 EB by 2023 and the the monthly data usage per smartphone (GB/month) will increase from 5.7 GB in 2017 to 13.7 GB by 2023, Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson said in its latest Mobility report. The firm also predicted that total smartphone subscriptions in the country will grow 2.5 times to cross 975 million by 2023.
The report further mentiones that with the addition of nearly 16 million mobile subscriptions, India registered the second highest number of net mobile subscriptions by country in the first quarter of 2018, which saw a total of 98 million new subscriptions. The report forecasts that India will have 780 million VoLTE subscriptions by 2023 and puts India behind the developed countries in adopting 5G technology.
Talking about 5G and Internet of Things (IoT), the Ericsson's mobility report said that by the end of 2018, major mobile operators in the US will start rolling out 5G subscriptions but in India, 4G/LTE will remain a dominant technology.
“We expect LTE to be the most dominant technology in India by 2023. LTE will account for more than 78 percent of the total subscriptions in the country by 2023 compared to the 20 percent LTE subscriptions in 2017. We also see IoT picking up in a big way with cellular IoT connections in India to reach 72 million by 2023 growing at a CAGR of 25 percent,” said Nitin Bansal, Head of Network Solutions for the Market Area South-East Asia, Oceania and India for Ericsson.
The new report also claimed that the new estimates regarding cellular IoT connections have nearly doubled since November 2017. It is now expected to reach an estimated 3.5 billion in 2023, driven by ongoing large-scale deployments in China.
North America is expected to lead the 5G uptake, with all major US operators planning to roll out commercial 5G technology between late 2018 and mid-2019. By end of 2023, close to 50 percent of all mobile subscriptions in North America are forecast to be for 5G, followed by North East Asia at 34 percent and Western Europe at 21 percent.
“2018 is the year 5G networks go commercial as well as for large-scale deployments of cellular IoT. These technologies promise new capabilities that will impact people’s lives and transform industries,” added Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks. Globally, major 5G deployments are expected from 2020. Ericsson forecasts over 1 billion 5G subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by the end of 2023, accounting for around 12 percent of all mobile subscriptions. “Mobile data traffic is estimated to surge by eight times during the forecast period to reach close to 107 exabytes (EB) per month. By 2023, more than 20 percent of mobile data traffic worldwide is expected to be carried by 5G networks. This is 1.5 times more than the total 4G/3G/2G traffic today,” the report claimed.
5G data-only devices are expected from the second half of 2018. The first commercial smartphones supporting 5G in the mid-bands are expected early next year, while support for very high spectrum bands is expected in early to mid-2019.