India’s mobile subscriber base to touch 1.42 billion by 2024; 80% to use 4G

NEW DELHI: India's mobile subscriber base is expected to reach 1.42 billion by 2024 and 80% of users are likely to have 4G connections, according to Ericsson Mobility Report released Tuesday. Also, a significant uptake of much talked about 5G services is expected to commence from 2022 in India, it said.

"The Indian government is saying that 5G will be introduced in 2020, but we expect a significant uptake to commence in 2022 with a projection of 38 million 5G subscriptions in 2024. This represents 2.7% of all mobile subscriptions at the time," Patrik Cerwall, Head of Strategic Marketing - Networks at Ericsson and Executive Editor of Ericsson Mobility Report, said.

He said that a 5G connection should be able to ideally deliver 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) broadband speed on mobile phones.

Globally, 5G services are expected to reach more than 40% global population coverage and 1.5 billion subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by the end of 2024.

The report estimates that North America and North East Asia are expected to lead the 5G uptake and will account for 55% and 43% share, respectively of 5G mobile subscriptions by the end of 2024. Cerwall said 4G will continue to be a dominant technology in India for sometime.

"LTE (4G) subscriptions are expected to grow at CAGR of 22% from 350 million (30% of total) in 2018 to 1.15 billion in 2024, representing 81% of all mobile subscriptions," Cerwall said. Total global mobile subscriptions in the third quarter of 2018 increased by 120 million while India accounted for 31 million out of it.

According to Ericsson report, China led growth in mobile subscribers and data usage during the quarter by adding 37 million subscribers.

"Mobile data traffic in third quarter of 2018 grew close to 79% year-on-year, which is the highest rate since 2013. The increased mobile data traffic per smartphone in North East Asia this year, mainly in China, has pushed up the global traffic significantly. The global traffic growth rate has been influenced by individual regions before, for example by North America in 2015 and by India in 2016," the report said.

North east Asia region recorded a traffic growth per smartphone of around 140% between 2017-end and 2018-end and emerged as region with the second highest data traffic per smartphone at 7.3 gigabytes per month.

"North America still has the highest data traffic per smartphone, set to reach 8.6 gigabytes per month by the end of this year -- which can be compared to streaming HD video for over 12 hours monthly," the report said.

The report estimates that smartphone subscriptions in India is likely to grow from 560 million in 2018 to 1 billion in 2024 and data traffic per smartphone per month is expected to grow at compound annual growth rate of 14% from 6.8 GB in 2018 to 15 GB in 2024.

The report predicts that mobile devices based internet of things connections expected to surpass 4 billion in six years' time.


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