Indians used more data on their smartphones than almost every other country in 2020. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report 2021, the country recorded the second highest amount of traffic per smartphone globally in 2020 behind the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Average traffic per smartphone grew by 13GB per month in 2019, to 14.6GB per month in 2020.
“COVID-19 has accelerated India’s digital transformation as more and more consumers rely on digital services – be it digital payments, remote health consultations, online retail or video conferencing – to fulfill their business or personal needs,” the report said.
India’s average traffic per smartphone in the country is set to grow to 40GB per month in 2026, the report said. Total mobile traffic in India stood at 9.5 exabytes per month, which is projected to grow to 41 exabytes per month. One exabyte is equivalent to one billion gigabytes.
“In the India region, 4G subscriptions are forecast to rise from 680 million in 2020 to 830 million in 2026, increasing at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 3 percent. 4G remained the dominant technology in 2020, accounting for 61 percent of mobile subscriptions,” the report said. “The technology will continue to be dominant, representing 66 percent of mobile subscriptions in 2026, with 3G being phased out by that time. 5G will represent around 26 percent of mobile subscriptions in India at the end of 2026, estimated at about 330 million subscriptions,” it added.
The total number of smartphone subscriptions in India stood at 810 million in 2020, expected to grow to 1.2 billion in the next five years. The report said that smartphone subscriptions accounted for 72 percent of total mobile phone subscriptions in the country last year.
Further, the report also noted that the total number of 5G subscribers worldwide will grown to over half a billion 5G subscriptions by the end of 2021. The number is expected to exceed 580 million by the end of the year, with one million new 5G mobile subscriptions going live every day.
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