May 13, 2021 10:00 pm
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Two million 5G devices active in India even as service roll-out a distant dream

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Even as the Union government is still planning to initiate limited 5G launch by early next year, there are already active 5G devices in use across the country. According to a Nokia report, there are about two million active 5G devices currently in use across the country.

Union government has cleared the way for 5G service roll-out from early next year. According to a recent proposal tabled in the Parliament, the 5G roll-out is likely to commence following the next round of spectrum auction.

“Industry 4.0 with various IoT and enterprise use-cases, immersive applications experience (AR/VR), smart home, factory and public safety use cases will spur LTE, 5G growth and data usage further,” the report claimed.

According to the study, the average monthly data usage per user in reached 13.5 GB in December 2020, with a growth of over 20% annually due to rise in data subscribers and mobile video consumption.

Also, the data traffic in India grew approximately 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.

Also, new users from rural areas have largely contributed to the rising monthly data usage. While data consumption via mobile emerged as the primary source of entertainment and productivity as an average Indian spent approximately 5 hours daily on a smartphone which is one of the highest averages globally.

The short video format was the fastest-growing content category, said the report, adding that total time spent monthly on short content is expected to grow four times by 2025. Relating to device trends, the report reveals that the 4G device base surpassed 607 million units reaching a 77% penetration level.

The report has also pegged a double-digit growth for the smartphone industry as people embrace hybrid work models, , and consume content over OTT (over-the-top) platforms in 2021. Also with just 22 million fixed broadband subscribers, there is a significant growth opportunity for this segment.

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