More Indian Fingers than Chinese to Access Mobile Internet by 2021

by June 8, 2016 0 comments

Heavy adoption of smartphones due to declining ASP (Average Selling Price) has greatly increased the number of mobile internet users in India. Ericsson today released Ericsson Mobility Report India edition, which shows key trends and forecasts on mobile traffic, subscriptions, consumer behavior and technology uptake specific to India. As per the report, the total number of mobile subscriptions in India is expected to reach approximately 1.37 billion by 2021.

The GSM/EDGE subscriber base is expected to grow until 2016 and expected to decline thereafter due to operator initiatives to migrate 2G subscribers to 3G, decreasing handset prices and bundling of data with devices. The WCDMA/HSPA and LTE (3G and 4G) networks are expected to gain momentum, and the subscriptions will together account for 65 percent of Indian subscriptions by 2021.

Budget Smartphones Matter

In the last couple of years, India has witnessed a solid growth in the sales of smartphones. Indian market is flooded with many Chinese smartphone manufacturers as well as local players who are providing budget smartphones. This influx has lowered the Average Selling Price (ASP). Budget smartphones have stormed the price sensitive Indian market and this massive adoption of low-price smartphones has enabled the users to carry digital world in their pocket.

High on Data 

Mobile broadband is set to dramatically increase, with smartphone subscriptions and total mobile traffic expected to increase four-fold and fifteen-fold respectively from 2015 to 2021 – reaching 810 million smartphone subscriptions and mobile traffic of 4.5 ExaBytes (EB) per month. Data traffic per active smartphone is expected to increase five-fold from 1.4 GigaByte (GB) per month in 2015 to 7 GB per month by 2021. In 2021, 99 per cent of the region’s mobile traffic will be from data.

Total smartphone traffic is growing seventeen-fold to 4.2 EB per month by 2021. Data traffic for other devices is also growing steadily and is expected to increase four-fold, between 2015 and 2021 to around 170 PetaBytes per month. As per the report, Indian Smartphone users rate data as more important than voice, indicating the strong uptake of data services in the country. Data speed is considered to be the most important factor in determining both network performance and smartphone users’ satisfaction with their operator. Mobile phone users in India give more importance to voice than data services, indicating that it is smartphone users who drive the need for better data services. Young smartphone users aged 15-24 years old drive the need for better data speed and data coverage and have a higher inclination to pay a premium for the same.

Network Performance

Network performance increases consumer loyalty and drives consumers towards choosing a particular mobile operator. User experience is expected to improve across all locations, with growing WCDMA /HSPA population coverage and LTE services being rolled out in India.

Paolo Colella, Region Head for Ericsson in India, says: “While WCDMA /HSPA population coverage is projected to increase to 90 per cent by the end of 2021, the population coverage of LTE networks in India is expected to reach 45 per cent by the end of 2021 in India.”

Over 70 per cent of smartphone users are satisfied with the network performance at home while doing instant messaging, web browsing or social networking using mobile internet. Over 60 per cent of smartphone users are satisfied with the network performance at home while streaming videos using mobile internet. However, only 50 per cent are satisfied with network performance for streaming videos on a smartphone while commuting.

Content on the Move

In India, streaming music and watching videos are the most popular forms of entertainment on smartphones. Around 50 per cent of smartphone users stream music on mobile apps every week, and more than one in two internet users watch short online video clips on a weekly basis.

Among Indian smartphone users, WhatsApp Messenger is the top mobile app, in terms of the number of Indian consumers, followed by Google Search and YouTube. E-commerce apps such as Flipkart, Paytm and Snapdeal are growing in popularity in India. File sharing app Xender is the top mobile app by average monthly data usage, followed by file sharing app SHAREit and the YouTube video sharing app.

The global Ericsson Mobility Report released earlier this month stated that India grew the most in terms of mobile subscribers with +21 million net additions in first quarter this year, followed by Myanmar (+5 million), Indonesia (+5 million), USA (+3 million) and Pakistan (+3 million).


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