India region, which includes Nepal and Bhutan, has the highest average usage per smartphone, Ericsson said in its “Ericsson Mobility Report”, adding that the consumption reached 9.8GB per month at the end of 2018. The telecommunications giant attributes the rise to the increased numbers of LTE subscriptions, attractive data plans being offered by service providers, and the youth’s changing video viewing habits.
The report predicts that the total mobile data traffic per month in India is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent from 4.6EB (exabytes) in 2018 to 16EB by 2024. The total smartphone subscriptions in the region will reach 1.1 billion by 2024 growing at 11 percent CAGR, whereas the total mobile broadband subscriptions in India are expected to grow at a CAGR of 13 percent, which is from about 610 million in 2018 to 1.25 billion in 2024. The report claims that mobile broadband technologies now make up more than 50 percent of subscriptions.
Ericsson says that LTE is forecast to represent 82 percent of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2024 compared to 38 percent in 2018. The LTE subscriptions in India are expected to grow at a CAGR of 17 percent, that is, from 450 million in 2018 to 1.16 billion in 2024. Video is claimed to continue to drive data usage and the monthly data usage per smartphone is expected to increase from 9.8GB in 2018 to 18GB by 2024 with a growth at 11 percent CAGR.
On the basis of the video consumption habits in India, Ericsson believes that mobile video traffic will further fuel the total data traffic as users are spending more time streaming and sharing video. Citing surveys of smartphone users worldwide, Ericsson says that people are expecting 5G to bring the network performance needed for immersive media formats and applications. It also says that streaming 360-degree video and augmented/virtual reality is likely to be a significant factor in mobile traffic growth.
“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. Based on the latest Consumer Lab study done 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,” Nitin Bansal, Head of Ericsson India and Head of Network Solutions, South East Asia, Oceania and India, said in a statement.
According to the Ericsson 5G Consumer Potential study, one in five smartphone users’ data usage could reach more than 145GB per month on a 5G device by 2025. 5G coverage is forecast to reach 45 percent of the world’s population by the end of 2024. This could surge to 65 percent, as spectrum sharing technology enables 5G deployments on LTE frequency bands. The strong commitment of chipset and device vendors is also key to the acceleration of 5G adoption.
“5G is definitely taking off and at a rapid pace. This reflects the service providers’ and consumers’ enthusiasm for the technology. 5G will have a positive impact on people’s lives and businesses, realising gains beyond the IoT and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, the full benefits of 5G can only be reaped with the establishment of a solid ecosystem in which technology, regulatory, security, and industry partners all have a part to play,” added Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson.