Nokia’s annual Mobile Broadband India Traffic (MBiT) Index study of mobile broadband performance in India reveals that the increase in the consumption of data across the country led to the overall growth of data traffic by 109 per cent, with 4G technology constituting 92 per cent of this growth.
The average data usage grew by 69 per cent in 2018 to touch 10GB per user per month as of the end of December 2018. A significant drop in data tariffs coupled with the availability of economical 4G devices led to a growth in the number of 4G subscribers by 137 per cent. Further, the widespread migration of users from 3G to 4G devices also contributed to the increase in the consumption of 4G data traffic in the country.
“This growth in the consumption of 4G data traffic is in line with the Indian Government’s vision to develop the country into a digital economy,” said the report.A growing number of people in the country are experiencing broadband for the first time on mobile and are now becoming aware of the vast opportunities offered by broadband connectivity. Category B and C circles witnessed the highest increase in 4G traffic in 2018, with the growth led by the growing popularity of video streaming and video content in local languages on the various Over-The-Top (OTT) applications.
“The significant increase of data consumption in India is a positive development and will be a key factor in the overall social and economic growth of the country. The surge in broadband consumption is likely to continue in the next few years since the current broadband penetration is just 45 per cent in the country,” said Sanjay Malik, Head of India Market, Nokia.
“As the popularity of video streaming increases, the telcos will need to provide better coverage and capacity in the rural sector as well,” added the report. By the end of 2018, there were more than five times the number of 4G subscribers as there were 3G subscribers.
The way forward for telecom
- 4G rollouts are set to continue this year
- Service providers will start preparing for 5G to gain early mover advantage
- Cheap data and unlimited video streaming see unprecedented surge in video consumption
- OTT players have gained significantly due to operator tie-ups