Better data connectivity is set to stretch the average time spent by Indians on smartphones by up to four times by 2025. At the present average time spent on data-surfing is estimated to be 5 hours daily on a smartphone which is one of the highest averages globally.
“An average user in India has increased his consumption on smartphones by 4 times in the last year. An average person consumes close to 5 hours per day, in fact, it is 4.48 hours per day, on their devices. Even from today, we will grow 4 times more in terms of more content getting used,” Nokia chief marketing officer Amit Marwah said.
According to a Nokia report, the average monthly data usage per user in India reached 13.5 GB in December 2020, with a growth of over 20% annually due to rise in data subscribers and mobile video consumption.
The annual report — Mobile Broadband India Traffic Index, (Mbit) 2021 — released on Thursday stated that India ranked second in the world in terms of broadband usage on mobile phones after Finland, and the data traffic in the country has increased around 60 times over the last five years, which is also highest globally.
“In the last five years, we have grown 63 times in terms of data growth that has happened. It is phenomenal. It is a record. I don’t think any country, any region, any market can beat this record of how data have been consumed in the last five years,” Nokia chief marketing officer Amit Marwah said while sharing details of the report.
Regarding data traffic, India saw a growth of 60 times over the last five years which is amongst the highest globally. As per Nokia report in 2020, the data traffic grew by 36% year-over-year primarily due to rise in 4G data consumption as 4G subscribers surpassed 700 million with 100 million new additions during the year.
The research showed that 4G alone constituted nearly 99% of the total data traffic consumed across the country in 2020. “The phenomenal growth in data consumption in India will drive demand for enhanced broadband and fixed capacity,” Sanjay Malik, Senior Vice President and Head of India Market, Nokia, said in a statement.
The average consumption of data per user per month also increased by 76% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the last five years to 13.5 GB (gigabyte) on 3G and 4G network combined. Average data consumed on 4G network are 13.7 GB per user per month.
Also, new users from rural areas have largely contributed to the rising monthly data usage. Almost 55% of data consumption is now spearheaded by short content, which is available on channels like YouTube, social media and other OTT apps and the rest of the 45% is getting consumed on other kinds of content like fintech, e-commerce and other kinds of browsing activities.
According to the report, fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and fixed wireless are going to see huge growth in years to come. In December 2014, there were 690 thousand homes that were connected with FTTH which grew over 5-fold to 4 million in December 2020.
Nokia Mbit report projects fibre-based broadband connections to increase from less than 15% of total fixed broadband connections in 2019 to almost 48% by 2025. There were just 22 million fixed broadband (FBB) subscribers in 2020 and the revenue of the segment is expected to increase 1.5 times by 2025.
Also, the time spent on education apps increased by 30% and OTT traffic increased 265% in April 2020 since February 2020.
Nokia report also suggests that telecom operators should have 100 Mhz of spectrum in 3.4 to 3.8 GHz frequency range for good coverage and data speed. The top speed expected on a 5G network is 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).