India has the highest average usage per smartphone, reaching 9.8 gigabytes (GB) per month at the end of 2018, said a report. Increased numbers of LTE subscriptions, attractive data plans being offered by service providers, and young people's changing video viewing habits have driven monthly usage growth, said a report from telecom gearmaker Ericsson.
The report also predicts that the total mobile data traffic per month in India is expected to increase at a CAGR of 23 percent from 4.6 exabytes (EB) in 2018 to 16 EB 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 CAGR of 13 percent from about 610 million in 2018 to 1.25 billion in 2024. Mobile broadband technologies now make up more than 50 percent of subscriptions.
The report asserts that as the evolution towards more advanced technologies continues in India, 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 from 450 million in 2018 to 1.16 Billion in 2024. Video will continue to drive data usage and we see monthly data usage per smartphone increasing from 9.8 GB in 2018 to 18 GB by 2024 growing at 11 percent CAGR.
The emphasised that mobile video traffic is fueling the total data traffic as users are spending more time streaming and sharing video. This is expected to continue, as video is embedded in all types of online content. In addition, surveys of smartphone users worldwide indicate that they expect 5G to bring the network performance needed for immersive media formats and applications. Streaming 360-degree video and augmented and virtual reality should start to be a significant factor in mobile traffic growth while enhancing user experience as 5G is rolled out, and compatible devices are successively introduced.
“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,” said Nitin Bansal, Head of Ericsson India and Head of Network Solutions, South East Asia, Oceania and India.
5G coverage is forecast to reach 45 percent of the world's population by end of 2024. This could surge to 65 percent, as spectrum sharing technology enables 5G deployments on LTE frequency bands.